Patterson's son, former Rockets general manager Steve Patterson, says his father died Wednesday evening at home in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land after a long battle with heart and lung diseases. Funeral arrangements are pending.
KRIV-TV of Houston first reported Patterson's death.
Patterson was the first president of the expansion Bucks, who won the 1971 NBA title in their third year after formation. The Rockets hired him as their president and general manager after their first season in Houston in 1971-72. The Rockets went to the NBA Finals twice under his management and hosted the 1989 All-Star Game.