Mr. Speaker, Houstonians will never forget October 6, 1999, when the NFL announced that the 32nd NFL franchise had been awarded to American businessman, Robert C. McNair. This adopted Texan will forever be remembered as the man that brought professional football back to Houston.
McNair grew up in Forest City, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1958. He and his wife, Janice, moved to Houston two years later. McNair founded Cogen Technologies, which became the largest privately owned cogeneration company in the world. He then sold the bulk of it to Enron in 1999 for $1.1 billion with an eye toward becoming a National Football League owner.
During his nearly two decades as an NFL owner, McNair left a lasting mark on the city of Houston. His leadership and determination brought the NFL back to Houston, built a spectacular stadium, and was instrumental in bringing two Super Bowls to Houston.
Football was not the only good thing McNair gave to Houston. Throughout his life, McNair and his charitable foundations gave more than $500 million to a countless number of scientific, literary, educational, and faith-based organizations. McNair chaired the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and the Houston Texans Foundation for more than 25 years. Ten years before he became known to most of us and before he was awarded the Texans franchise, McNair and his wife started the Robert and Janice McNair Educational Foundation to ensure all students in his hometown who so desired, would have the opportunity to attend college. Thousands of individuals have now received a better education; changing their lives because of McNair's selfless character.
McNair passed away on Friday, November 23, 2018 at the age of 81. He is survived by his wife, Janice; two sons, Cal and Cary; two daughters, Ruth and Melissa, 15 grandchildren, and two great grandsons. McNair was once asked by the NFL Network how he would like to be remembered. He replied ``I'd like to think that I'd be remembered as an honorable man, as a good Christian man, and that I always did things in a first-class manner and treated people honestly. I think that would be a good legacy.''
Mr. Speaker, Bob McNair lived his life always revolving around four main values: Faith, Family, Philanthropy, and Football. May we all strive to live a life well lived around those kind of values, and to leave a positive impact like Bob McNair.
And that's just the way it is.