Douglas Mitchell, a former Canadian Football League player who went on to become commissioner of the league as well as a prominent Calgary lawyer and community leader, died on Wednesday at the age of 83.
Mitchell played briefly in the CFL with the BC Lions and Hamilton Tiger-Cats and later went on to serve as league commissioner for five years in the 1980s. He also spent time on the league’s board of governors, as a representative of the Calgary Stampeders, as well as many other accomplishments in sports and the wider community.
Among his loved ones, he leaves behind his wife, former Alberta lieutenant-governor Lois Mitchell.
His family said in an email shared on Thursday that Mitchell died peacefully and suddenly at home.
“We all know Doug was an inspiration to all who knew him and we will continue to share his legacy each and every day,” said Lois Mitchell in an email.
“Doug lived an incredibly happy, accomplished and fulfilled life in his 83 years. Doug made an impression on each of us and we find solace in knowing his life was full of joy. We know he would want us all to live on with strength, purpose and laughter.”
Among his many accolades, he was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2004, inducted to the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2007, inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2019 and most recently inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in June.