Bob McNair's philanthropic efforts made him one of modern Houston's patriarchs

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Bob McNair and his wife Janice believed in giving back.

From Depelchin, Brookwood and the Texans YMCA, countless buildings, wings and venues bear the family name around Houston.

Mayor Sylvester Turner's statement on the death of Houston Texans owner Robert C. "Bob" McNair said, in part, "But football was not the only good thing Bob McNair gave to Houston. He and his family were very generous to many community and local philanthropic causes. He was a bold and visionary Houstonian who will long be remembered here."

The couple founded McNair Medical Medical Institute, where the best and brightest medical scholars are recruited to research key areas, including breast and pancreatic cancers.

Education was near and dear to their hearts, where McNair not only contributed to his alma mater, the University of South Carolina. He made endowments locally to Rice, University of St. Thomas and Houston Baptist University.

A self-made billionaire, McNair believed in the spirit of entrepreneurship, establishing centers at universities focused on inspiring and educating future business leaders.

Kristi Cooper, executive director of the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, said in part on Friday, "Today, thousands of individuals have received a better education and their lives are forever changed because of Bob McNair. His life of stewardship lives through the people who have been touched by his unwavering belief that we serve God by serving others."

In the biggest endorsement of McNair as a patriarch of the city, Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta recognized his impact, speaking Friday night hours after his friend's passing. Fertitta was an original founding partner of the Texans.

"Bob was a very special individual. He always knew what he wanted, was very successful at everything he did. He was a good person and said those who have a lot must give back to the community, and was very philanthropic, and he did a lot for the community," Fertitta said.

Fertitta also expressed sadness for one thing Bob never got to see in his lifetime: his own Texans winning a Super Bowl.

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