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Linda Bogdan, daughter of Ralph Wilson, dies at 61

Linda Bogdan, the only active female scout in the NFL and a daughter of Buffalo Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr., died Tuesday after a bout with cancer.

Bogdan, a resident of Englewood, N.J., was 61.

She held the title of vice president and assistant director of college and pro scouting for the Bills for the past three years. Prior to that, she was corporate vice president for 15 years.

Wilson confirmed the death of his daughter through team Vice President for Communications Scott Berchtold.

Bogdan was an active scout for the Bills since 1986. Her love for football dated to her childhood in suburban Detroit. Before her father purchased the Bills in 1960, she accompanied him to Lions games when he owned a small portion of the NFL club. She also played touch football with him and friends from the neighborhood.

She had gone on occasional scouting assignments for the Bills for five or six years before her official appointment. But in 1986 she asked her father for a scouting position, because, as she said, she "got tired of too many 2-14 seasons."

Bogdan was not on the road year-round traveling to colleges like the team's staff of full-time college scouts. She traveled to and from weekend college games for many years from her New Jersey home. She focused much of her attention on the East Coast but also covered bowl games, all-star games and scouting combine activities.

Like her father, she was unpretentious. When she first started in the scouting business, Bogdan made no bones about how she landed the job.

"Whenever people ask, I just tell them, "My father owns the team,'‚" she told The Buffalo News in a 1990 interview. "What's the point of fooling around?"

One of her early finds was linebacker Carlton Bailey, who scored the Bills' only touchdown in their second conference championship game victory, in January 1992.

Bogdan was involved in long-term planning as part of her corporate duties. She also lent her experience to pro scouting in recent years.

Bogdan grew up in the Detroit area and graduated from Bennett College. She was an outstanding amateur tennis player, winning several club championships at the West Side Tennis Club at Forest Hills, N.Y., in both singles and doubles.

Besides her father, Bogdan is survived by two sisters, Christy Wilson Hoffman and Edith Wilson.

---Mark Gaughan


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