Pete Rozelle (1926-1996) served as commissioner of the National Football League from 1960 to 1989, overseeing the league's rise from relatively humble origins to the peak of the sports-business universe.
In the course of Rozelle's long tenure at the League office, the NFL grew from a comparatively small-time operation into the wealthiest and most powerful economic force in American sports. In 1961, Rozelle implemented revenue sharing and negotiated the NFL's first league-wide television contract. The two moves combined to guarantee profitability to virtually every NFL team since. In 1966, Rozelle shepherded the league through a tricky merger with its former rival, the American Football League, creating the Super Bowl in the process. By the time Rozelle retired in 1989, pro football had become by far the most popular and lucrative sport in America.