CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Former Panthers Stadium President Jon Richardson has died after a lengthy battle with cancer, a source confirmed to the Observer on Tuesday afternoon.
Richardson, 53, was the oldest son of Carolina Panthers owner/founder Jerry Richardson. He served as the Panthers Stadium LLC President from the team's inception until his resignation in 2009.
Richardson and his brother, Mark, resigned unexpectedly from high-ranking positions with the team in 2009. The brothers remained part of the ownership group, but had kept a low profile with the organization since their resignations.
Jon Richardson had successfully battled cancer while he worked for the Panthers.
He was a three-year letterman and two-year starter at wide receiver at North Carolina. He led the Tar Heels in receptions in 1981.
He had a tryout in 1982 with the Baltimore Colts, his father's former team.
Richardson, who had undergraduate and MBA degrees from UNC, started A-OK Home Services in Chapel Hill before selling the business after five years and joining the Panthers in 1994.
As president of the stadium, Richardson oversaw several stadium improvement projects, including a $5.5 million renovation of the club level in 2003, the replacement of the playing field in 2004 and the installation of LED boards in 2007.
In June, Jerry Richardson, in addition to donating $10 million for naming rights to UNC Charlotte's football stadium, endowed a scholarship in Jon's name to the university. Jon's son, Johnson, is the tight ends coach for the 49ers.
"That is from my wife and me. He deserves it," Jerry Richardson said at a news conference announcing the naming rights.
Richardson is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and three children.
The Panthers released the following statement on Richardson's passing Tuesday afternoon:
"We are very saddened to learn of the passing of Jon Richardson. He was a great friend of many people throughout the organization and played an integral role in the history of the Panthers in the building of Bank of America Stadium. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Richardson family."