Bannon, a Pacers founder, dies
By Mark Montieth
E.J. (Joe) Bannon, a founder of the Indiana Pacers and their first president, died Monday in Clearwater, Fla.
He was 93.
Bannon, chairman of Purdue National Bank in Lafayette, Ind., was one of the original investors who provided the franchise fee for the entry into the American Basketball Association, and supplied much of the early operating capital.
Bannon represented the franchise along with Chuck Barnes, Indianapolis, at a meeting in New York on Feb. 2, 1967, when the ABA was officially formed.
"He gave us credibility," said Dick Tinkham, an Indianapolis lawyer who was among the Pacers' founders.
"It was a brand new league and we needed a guy like that to say he would invest in the group. I would say he was a huge catalyst for the whole thing coming together."
Born in Kansas City, Mo., Bannon moved to Indiana when he became first vice president of the Purdue National Bank in 1947. He became president in 1949 and board chairman in 1957.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia, and a grandson, Peter Fredric Bannon II.
Funeral arrangements in Lafayette are pending.