See also Tom Benson (American football) and Tom Benson (politician) for the Northern Ireland Unionist.
Tom Benson (born 1927 in New Orleans, Louisiana) was the owner of the New Orleans Saints NFL team. He is currently the owner of several automobile dealerships in the Greater New Orleans and San Antonio areas. Benson became wealthy by investing profits from his automobile dealerships in local banks. He eventually purchased several small Southern banks and formed Benson Financial, which he sold to Wells Fargo in 1996. Benson passed ownership of the team to his granddaughter Rita Benson LeBlanc.
Benson purchased the Saints from John Mecom in 1985 after he learned from Louisiana Governor Edwin W. Edwards that the team was on the verge of being sold to parties interested in moving the team from New Orleans, Louisiana to Jacksonville, Florida. As a successful businessman, he recognized the economic implications of such a move not only for the city of New Orleans, but for the state of Louisiana as well, which was in the midst of a deep economic recession caused by plummeting crude oil prices. Ownership of the team was officially transferred to him on May 31, 1985.