(Born October 5, 1931) -- It’s a familiar story - local successful businessman moves out of his area of expertise and generates controversy and headlines.
No, not Carl Paladino. Paul Snyder was there first.
Snyder was an important and familiar name in Western New York’s business past. He once sold Freezer Queen to Nabisco, and started the Darien Lake campground that had his name attached to it for many years.
Still, he entered the public spotlight in 1970 just before the start of the NBA basketball season by purchasing the Buffalo Braves. He could be a hands-on owner, as evidenced by his firing of coach Dolph Schayes after one game of the 1971-72 season. Snyder later watched the Braves become a good team by the middle of the 1970’s.
However, the franchise fell on hard times after that. Snyder eventually sold a portion of the team to John Y. Brown, whose actions started to make Snyder look good in comparison. Snyder eventually sold all of his share of the team, and the Braves moved out of Buffalo in 1978.
--- Budd Bailey