14 Jul 2010

Death of Yankees owner Steinbrenner

6:13 am on 14 July 2010

George Steinbrenner, the longtime owner of the New York Yankees baseball team, who once said winning was the most important thing in his life, after breathing, has died in Florida.

Known as "The Boss" for his tempestuous style, Steinbrenner was loved by Yankees fans and hated by his rivals.

He was twice suspended from the sport - for ordering a private investigation into one of his own players and for making an illegal campaign contribution to President Richard Nixon.

The Yankees won seven World Series titles and 11 American League pennants after he bought the club for $10 million in 1973.

Forbes magazine estimated it is now worth $US1.6 billion, nearly twice as much as any other in baseball.

Steinbrenner, the son of an Ohio shipping magnate, turned 80 on the US Independence Day holiday on 4 July.

He was portrayed on the Seinfeld TV series in which the George Costanza character went to work for the Yankees. Steinbrenner's character was always shown from behind, often rambling on while Costanza walked away.