George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees, died of a massive heart attack early this morning (Tues. Jul 12) in a hospital in Tampa, FL just one week after he turned 80 years old. A statement released from his family reads:

“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.”

Steinbrenner was known as “The Boss” for his business savvy and free-agent shopping habits.  After he bought the team for $8.8 million dollars in 1973, he turned the Yankees into a billion-dollar franchise. The team went on to win 7 World Series championships and 11 American league pennants under his ownership.

When Steinbrenner celebrated his 80th birthday on July 4th, he said (via press release):

“I want to thank everyone who has sent their good wishes. I am very fortunate to have the love and support of a great family and many, many friends. The Yankees and their fans are a large part of what keeps me going. It means a lot. And I remind everyone that the Fourth of July is also the birthday of our country. We are all lucky to be Americans.”

His declining health became apparent when 2 years ago after the All-Star game at Yankee Stadium, Steinbrenner was driven to the field in a golf cart. He also reportedly broke into tears after meeting with former players. Later that year, he gave control of the Yankees to his sons.

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