Is Jim Irsay Dead Or Alive? Health Update 2024 After Drug Overdose

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Jim Irsay isn’t dead, but the Colts owner is currently battling a respiratory illness. Last month, the billionaire went into an overdose, as stated by various media outlets.

The 64-year-old hasn’t made a public appearance for a long time. His last appearance was on December 16 at the Lucas Oil Stadium in the home game against the Steelers.

Irsay Inherited The NFL Team From His Father Robert Irsay In 1997
Irsay Inherited The NFL Team From His Father, Robert Irsay, In 1997 (Source: Twitter)

That itself should be called a miracle as only one week ago, he almost lost his life. The suspected overdose incident occurred on December 8, and the Carmel police reported that the Colts owner was given naloxone before he was taken to a local hospital.

The youngster owner of an NFL team, Irsay joined the Colts as a general manager in 1984. It was after his father, Robert Isray’s passing that Jim took over the team in 1997.

Is Jim Irsay Dead Or Alive? Health Update 2024

The Colts owner Jim Irsay isn’t dead, but his recent health news has sent the NFL community into a frenzy. The news about the billionaire’s health declining has been making rounds since the first week of the new year. 

On January 9, it was reported that Irsay was receiving treatment for severe respiratory illness. The ongoing treatment was why he couldn’t attend the Jim Irsay Collection event held in Los Angeles and perform with the Jim Irsay band. 

There were suspicions about the NFL team owner’s health as Irsay is more visible than other people in his position. And the recent reports confirm how bad and for how long Jim had been suffering. 

Irsay Made His Last Public Appearance On December 16
Irsay Made His Last Public Appearance On December 16 (Source: Twitter)

On January 17, various news outlets shared that the Colts owner was found unresponsive inside his home last month. The reports say that the emergency crews were dispatched around 4:30 a.m. on December 8 to Isray’s home in Carmel, Indiana.

The 64-year-old had fallen in the bathroom and was laboring to breathe. The authorities have said that a 66-year-old man was the one to call and lead the authorities to where Irsay had fallen.

It has been reported that when the authorities arrived, the Colts owner was found unconscious with abnormal breathing (agonal breathing), a weak pulse, and cold to touch.

One police officer wrote on his report that Irsay was given naloxone, “a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose.” Another officer wrote Jim responded slightly to the naloxone before being transported to a local hospital.

Irsay And Health Issues

The Colts owner has been open about his struggle with mental health issues, addiction, and alcoholism. The three issues have lingered long in the Irsay family. Jim’s grandfather died of alcoholism, and so did his father. 

One of Irsay’s best friends, Hunter S. Thompson, had called Irsay 12 hours before committing suicide in 2005. Thompson had suffered from alcohol and cocaine abuse for years before he fell into depression. 

A 2014 article from Indy Star states that the billionaire had been alcohol-free for more than a decade. But an incident in 2014 proves otherwise. 

The Colts Owner Has Been Open About His Alcohol Struggles
The Colts Owner Has Been Open About His Alcohol Struggles (Source: Twitter)

On March 16, 2014, the billionaire was pulled over by the police. A laundry bag full of pills was found in the front seat of his SUV. Irsay was charged with four felony drug counts, and the mugshot revealed he was having a hard time keeping his eyes open.

But last year, Jim told HBO Sports that he was targeted for being “a rich white billionaire.” He admitted to substance abuse but downplayed the notion of his arrest. 

Irsay said the arrest was wrong and that he just had hip surgery. The Colts owner said, “I had just had hip surgery and had been in a car for 45 minutes, and what? They ask me to walk the line. Are you kidding me? I can barely walk at all.” 

But in recent years, Irsay and his family have tried raising awareness about mental health issues. During the pandemic, the family started the Kicking the Stigma campaign. 

Irsay also reportedly attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in San Francisco. He also says it is one of his personal missions to help homeless women and many others break down barriers surrounding mental health. 

Sriyukta Pradhananga
Sriyukta Pradhananga

Sriyukta Pradhananga

Sriyukta Pradhananga is a versatile writer with a keen interest in exploring the multifaceted dimensions of sports. Her articles offer readers a dynamic blend of insightful analysis, engaging storytelling, and thought-provoking commentary that sheds light on the diverse experiences within the athletic realm.


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  • Sriyukta keeps abreast of the latest advancements in sports technology.
  • She examines issues related to sports ethics, fair play, and integrity.


With a background in journalism and a passion for sports, Sriyukta approaches each article with a blend of curiosity, rigor, and creativity. She strives to illuminate the complexities and nuances of the sports world, sparking meaningful conversations and inspiring readers to engage more deeply with the athletic endeavors that unite us all.

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