George Steinbrenner Biography

businessman and owner of the New York Yankees
Born: 7/4/1930
Birthplace: Rocky River, Ohio
Died: 7/13/2010 (Tampa, Fla.)

George Michael Steinbrenner III started his first business, raising chickens and selling their eggs, when he was in elementary school. He went on to Culver military academy, Williams College, and the U.S. Air Force, where he established a sports program and a food service business. Next came jobs as a high school and college football coach before he entered the family shipping business, Kinsman Marine Transit, in 1957. The same year he purchased his first pro franchise, a basketball team called the Cleveland Pipers—an investment that lost Steinbrenner millions. Undeterred, Steinbrenner showed his acumen by merging Kinsman with the American Shipbuilding Company and purchasing the New York Yankees for $10 million in 1973. Under his tough but effective leadership, the baseball team turned into an empire, winning seven World Series trophies. Banned from baseball twice during his tenure for ethical and legal violations, George Steinbrenner, "the Boss," never wavered from his commitment to be on top, saying "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing." He died in Tampa, Fla. of a massive heart attack at age 80.

When George Steinbrenner went away to school in ninth grade, he sold his egg business, the George Company, to his two younger sisters for $50. It took the S & J (Susan and Judy) Company two years to pay off the debt.