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James Busch Orthwein (March 13, 1924 – August 15, 2008) was an American advertising executive and great-grandson of Anheuser-Busch founder Adolphus Busch. Orthwein owned the New England Patriots from 1992 to 1993.
Orthwein graduated from the Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, from Washington University in St. Louis, and joined his father's advertising firm in 1947. Orthwein was chairman and chief executive of the D’Arcy Advertising Company from 1970 to 1983. Orthwein took the advertising agency to the global stage merging with agencies in Detroit and London. In 1985, the St. Louis-based company then merged with Benton & Bowles of New York to form D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.
He purchased the New England Patriots from Victor Kiam, when the latter was facing bankruptcy and owed him millions. During his ownership Orthwein hired Bill Parcells as head coach, who helped to return the moribund franchise to respectability. He planned to relocate the Patriots franchise to St. Louis, renaming the team the St. Louis Stallions. However, those plans were derailed when Boston paper magnate Robert Kraft, owner of Foxboro Stadium, refused to accept a buyout of the lease. Realizing that Kraft would never agree to a buyout, Orthwein put the Patriots up for sale. Kraft then offered a then-record $175 million for outright ownership of the Patriots, an offer which Orthwein had little choice but to accept.
For 35 years, Orthwein was Master of Foxhounds at Bridlespur Hunt Club and he was a member of the Missouri Horseman's Hall of Fame. He helped raise more than $1-million for horse show related charities.
Orthwein' third wife was Ruth Orthwein; they divorced in the late 1990s.
|New England Patriots Principal Owner|
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