Rocky Wirtz, chairman of the Blackhawks, dead at 70

From today’s Daily Herald

One momentary lapse in judgment should never define a man’s legacy.

So let’s hope Blackhawks principal owner and chairman Rocky Wirtz, who died at age 70 on Tuesday, isn’t remembered solely for losing his cool and berating reporters at a town-hall meeting in February 2022.

Wirtz passed away at NorthShore Evanston Hospital after a brief illness, according to a statement released by his son, Danny. Rocky was surrounded by his wife Marilyn and four children at his passing.

“Our hearts are very heavy today,” Danny’s statement read. “Our dad was a passionate businessman committed to making Chicago a great place to live, work and visit, but his true love was for his family and close friends. … His passing leaves a huge hole in the hearts of many and we will miss him terribly.”

The Hawks have been in the Wirtz family since 1954, and Rocky became the team’s fifth principal owner when his father, Bill, died in 2007.

And he immediately got to work, turning around a franchise that was named the worst in pro sports by ESPN in 2004. The headline of that story was, “Rock Bottom.”

Less than a month after his dad’s death, Rocky brought the Hawks out of the Dark Ages and negotiated a contract with Comcast SportsNet Chicago to televise home games.

Read the full story in Today’s Daily Herald.