Lou Spadia, who rose from the ranks of office boy with the 49ers at the franchise's inception in 1946 to its highest-ranking executive, died at the age of 92, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday.
Spadia remained with the 49ers until 1977, when the franchise was sold. Spadia’s five-percent ownership stake in the team was included in the sale to Edward DeBartolo Sr.
"Lost a member of the 49ers family last night," 49ers CEO Jed York wrote on Twitter. "Thoughts and prayers go out to the Spadia family. Lou will be missed."
Spadia also spearheaded the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame program, which helps raise funds for more than 400 youth sports programs.
A native San Franciscan, Spadia was a member of the Mission High School Class of 1938. Spadia first interviewed with 49ers founder Tony Morabito in December of 1945.
Initially, he wrote biographical sketches on the players for the team programs. He also worked in the ticket department and business office before a promotion to general manager in 1952.
After the deaths of owners Tony Morabito (1957) and Vic Morabito (1964), Spadia was promoted to chief executive officer. He reported to the Morabito widows, who remained in ownership of the organization. In 1967, he was named team president.