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George Steinbrenner Yankees owner dies at 80

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The New York Yankees confirmed that owner, George Steinbrenner died early this morning due to a heart attack. Steinbrenner was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Fla. And was pronounced dead at about 6:30 a.m. ET. The Tampa, Fla. resident had just celebrated his birthday July 4.

“It is with profound sadness that the family of George M. Steinbrenner III announces his passing. He passed away this morning in Tampa, Fla., at age 80,” the Steinbrenner family said.

Steinbrenner is a recognized man to the sports community as the man who rebuilt the Yankees into a flourishing brand name in American sports. He purchased the Yankees in 1973 and since ownership the Yankees took 11 pennants and seven World Series titles. Steinbrenner purchased the team for a reported $8.8 million and today the team is worth an estimated $1.6 billion.

Nicknamed “The Boss,” Steinbrenner took the Yankees at a struggling time and turned them into a sports empire. He was said to have been a strict and dedicated ruler and earned that reputation during the 30 years he devoted his life to the Yankees.

“He was a visionary and a giant in the world of sports. He took a great but struggling franchise and turned it into a champion again.,” his family said.

The death of Steinbrenner comes shortly after the death of another Yankees icon just three days ago. Yankees public address announcer from 1951-2007, Bob Sheppard died on Sunday at 99.

The Steinbrenner family has announced that the funeral will be private, but details about an additional public service will be released later.

“The passing of George Steinbrenner marks the end of an era in New York City baseball history,” Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz said. “George was a larger than life figure and a force in the industry. The rise and success of his teams on the field and in the business marketplace under his leadership are a testament to his skill, drive, and determination.”

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