Howard Joseph Darwin

Biography

Builder : Baseball, Hockey
Year Inducted: 1998
Date of Birth: September 10th, 1931
Born in: Ottawa, Ontario

Howard Joseph Darwin (deceased) was a Canadian businessman and sports team owner. Among his businesses, he owned the Ottawa 67’s, London Knights and Ottawa Lynx sports franchises.In the 1960s, besides being involved in sports promotion, he  established Ottawa Cablevision in 1965 (purchased by Rogers Cable in 1995), the first cable television provider in Ottawa.

As a youth, Darwin boxed as an amateur. He started refereeing fights and started promoting boxing in the capital. He branched out into promoting wrestling and closed-circuit TV boxing. The closed-circuit TV business led him into the early years of cable television in Ottawa.

In 1967, with four partners, Darwin purchased the franchise for the Ottawa 67s hockey team. The club was part of the impetus to build the Ottawa Civic Centre. Darwin managed the team and hired Brian Kilrea in 1974. In 1984, the 67’s won the Memorial Cup junior championship. He sold his share of the 67’s in 1998 to current owner Jeff Hunt for $2.5 million.

He bought the London Nationals in 1968, renaming them to the London Knights, also buying the London Gardens arena at the same time. He sold his share of the London Knights in 1987 to local businessmen.

In 1993, Darwin brought a triple-A baseball team, the Ottawa Lynx, to Ottawa after having lobbied for the construction of the Lynx Stadium. The club won the International League championship in 1995. Darwin sold the club in 2000 for $7 million to Ray Pecor. He had purchased it in 1993 for $5 million. The team eventually moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania in 2008.