George Steinbrenner, who bought a declining New York Yankees team in 1973 and left an indelible mark on sports' most storied franchise, has passed away.
A heart attack is believed to be the cause. He was 80.
In an often tumultuous reign, in which he promised to stay out of the team's daily affairs but often did not, the Bronx Bombers won seven of their 27 titles.
Just as impressively, he build the franchise into a global powerhouse valued at over $1 billion. Having retired to Tampa, Fla., he turned 80 this past July 4.
A rep for the family said in a statement:
"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."
George Steinbrenner, left, with former N.Y. City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
"He was an incredible and charitable man. Funeral arrangements will be private. There will be an additional public service with details to be announced."
Steinbrenner’s death comes nine months after the Yankees won their first World Series title since 2000, beating the Phillies at the new Yankee Stadium.
The magnate, whose infamous, blustering ways lessened considerably in recent years, had been in failing health since 2006, rarely appearing in public.
Introduced at the inaugural game of the new stadium he constructed in April 2009, he received an ovation, at which point shoulders shook and he cried.
Rest in peace, George.