NEW YORK (AP) - George Steinbrenner, who rebuilt the New York
Yankees into a sports empire with a mix of bluster and big bucks
that polarized fans all across America, died Tuesday. He had just
celebrated his 80th birthday July 4.
Steinbrenner had a heart attack, was taken to St. Joseph's
Hospital in Tampa, Fla., and died at about 6:30 a.m, a person close
to the owner told The Associated Press. The person spoke on
condition of anonymity because the team had not disclosed those
For more than 30 years, Steinbrenner lived up to his billing as
"the Boss," a nickname he earned and clearly enjoyed as he ruled
with an iron fist. The Yankees won six World Series titles during
He was known for feuds, clashing with Yankees great Yogi Berra
and firing manager Billy Martin twice. But as his health declined,
Steinbrenner let sons Hal and Hank run more of the family business.
Steinbrenner was in fragile health for years, resulting in fewer
public appearances and pronouncements. Yet dressed in his trademark
navy blue blazer and white turtleneck, he was the model of success:
The Yankees won seven World Series titles after his reign began in
Till the end, he demanded championships. He barbed Joe Torre
during the 2007 AL playoffs, then let the popular manager leave
after another loss in the opening round. The team responded last
year by winning another title.
His death was the second in three days to rock the Yankees. Bob
Sheppard, the team's revered public address announcer from 1951-07,
died Sunday at 99.