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George Steinbrenner

Born On The Fourth Of July

George Steinbrenner was born on July 4, 1930, in Rocky River, Ohio, to Rita and Henry Steinbrenner. He was the oldest of three children born to the couple. His father was the president of Kinsman Marine Transit Company, a shipping company based in Cleveland, Ohio. While a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Henry Steinbrenner competed on the track team, and became a national low-hurdle champion. Steinbrenner later said of his father, wrote Carol Slezak in the Chicago Sun-Times, "My father was an outstanding man. I never worked as hard as him and I never was as smart as him."

Steinbrenner grew up on a farm near the Ohio town of Bay Village, on the banks of Lake Erie. He attended high school at the Culver Military Academy in Indiana beginning in 1944. At Culver, he excelled in athletics, playing both on the football team and on the track team. After graduating from high school in 1948, Steinbrenner went on to Williams College in Massachusetts, where he earned a B.A. Following in his father's footsteps, at Williams Steinbrenner ran on the school's track team. He also worked on the school newspaper, and became president of the school's glee club (men's chorus).


1930 Born on July 4 in Rocky River, Ohio
1948 Attends Williams College in Massachusetts
1952 Earns B.A. from Williams College
1952 Serves in U.S. Air Force
1952 Pursues master's degree in physical education at Ohio State University
1955 Relocates to Evanston, Illinois to become assistant football coach at Northwestern University
1956 Joins football coaching staff at Purdue University
1956 Marries Joan Zieg
1958 Returns home to Ohio of work for Kinsman Marine Transit Company
1960 Purchases Cleveland Pipers basketball team
1962 Becomes president of Kinsman Marine Transit Company
1967 Merges Kinsman Marine Transit Company with American Ship Building Company
1973 Buys New York Yankees
1974 Pleads guilty to running an illegal scheme to raise money for Richard Nixon's 1972 presidential campaign
1976 Leads New York Yankees to its first World Series game since 1964
1989 Receives pardon from President Ronald Reagan
1999 Merges New York Yankees with New Jersey Nets into YankeeNets

After his graduation from college in 1952, Steinbrenner served in the United States Air Force. Stationed in Columbus, Ohio, he served as a general's aid. He also coached his base's basketball and baseball teams, and set an Armed Forces low-hurdle record. While in the Air Force, Steinbrenner met his future wife, Joan Zieg, a civilian living in Columbus. (They were married in 1956, and they eventually had four children—Hank, Hal, Jenny, and Jessica. By 2002, Steinbrenner had a total of 12 grandchildren.)

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Famous Sports StarsBaseballGeorge Steinbrenner Biography - Born On The Fourth Of July, Chronology, A Career In Athletics, Success In Business