H. Wayne Huizenga, founder of major sports teams the Florida Panthers and Florida Marlins, as well as former owner of the Miami Dolphins, died thursday night at his home in Fort Lauderdale. He was eighty years old.

The Associated Press was told, by Huizenga's longtime assistant Valerie Hinkell, of his death when reached at the family residence the following day. She gave no comment on the cause of death. According to Bob Henniger, Huizenga Holdings executive vice president, he had long been battling cancer.

Huizenger helped expand the NHL and MLB

Huizenga was a dominant player when it came to the expansion of both the NHL and MLB in Miami when he founded the Panthers and the Marlins in 1993. It would be only a year later that he would purchase the Miami Dolphins, thus making him the only person to own three major sports teams in three different sports.

Huizenga had humble beginnings driving a garbage route, which set the foundation for Waste Management. Huizenga, long before his success as an entrepreneur, drove a garbage route in 1962. He would, after hauling loads to the dump, clean up and shower so he could venture out to meet business owners and homeowners in hopes of securing more contracts.

When his small business merged with three Chicago based businesses, Waste Management was born.

Huizenga's success as an entrepreneur didn't stop with Waste Management. He is also known for the success of the video-rental empire Blockbuster Video, which had less than twenty locations before his involvement. He eventually sold Blockbuster to Viacom for an astounding eight and a half billion dollars in 1994, only seven years after buying into the chain.

Beyond Blockbuster he went into auto retailing

Huizenga, after his good fortune with Blockbuster, and after deciding that there must be an easier and better way to buy a car, started AutoNation. With the help of Mike Jackson, the former head of Mercedes-Benz, AutoNation, like most business Huizenga had a hand in, flourished and is now the largest pure auto retailer in the country, not to mention one of the most consistently profitable.

Although Huizenga retired as chairman from AutoNation in the early 2000's, he remained a major shareholder, often mentoring Mike Jackson.

The Miami Herald Quoted Huizenga saying, on behalf of his good business sense, "You just have to be in the right place at the right time," and "It can only happen in America."

Huizenga is survived by his four children, Wayne, Scott, Ray, and Pamela, along with eleven grandchildren.