Hugh Franklin Culverhouse, Sr.
(1919 – August 26, 1994) was the longtime owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
of the National Football League
(NFL). He was a successful tax lawyer
, and his real estate investments made him one of the nation's wealthiest men. His work brought him into contact with National Football League team owners, and his failed purchase of the Los Angeles Rams
placed him in line to become the owner of the fledgling Buccaneer franchise. He owned the team from its inception until his death.
Culverhouse became one of the most influential team owners in the NFL, and was credited with modernizing the league, even while his teams were rarely competitive on the field. He oversaw the league's course of direction through two player strikes, and the modern league's financial stability is in great part due to his leadership. He held influence for over a decade, before stepping back due to criticism of what other owners saw as his overly-secretive ways.
Culverhouse was initially lauded for bringing professional football to the Tampa Bay area, but eventually came to be blamed for the team's struggles. His refusal to pay Doug Williams
at a salary level comparable to that of the league's top quarterbacks insulted fans, and was seen as the beginning of the team's decline during the 1980s. It further led to the belief that Culverhouse was unconcerned with fielding a winning team, as long as the result was profitable. The Buccaneers' NFL-record streak of fourteen consecutive......