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George Steinbrenner

Success In Business

Two years into his tenure at Purdue, in 1957, Steinbrenner received a call from his father, who wanted to him to work for the family business, which was in danger of failing. "He told me to get home and get busy," he later told Slezak. "I wish I could have stayed in coaching. My father never asked that much, but when he did it was an order."

Working in the family business as treasurer, Steinbrenner proved himself as a businessman, becoming president of Kinsman after four years. He stayed involved in sports as a businessman, however, in 1960 establishing a partnership to purchase a semiprofessional basketball team called the Cleveland Pipers. This enterprise was ultimately not successful, but it gave him a taste for what was to come. In 1967, he completed a merger of Kinsman and the American Ship Building Company, a move that firmly established Steinbrenner as a wealthy man.

Also active in politics, Steinbrenner served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Dinner (a political fundraising event) in 1969, and again in 1970. But he always stopped short of running for political office himself, in the early 1970s turning down a chance to run for the governorship of Ohio. A supporter of both Democratic and Republican candidates, Steinbrenner has told Kaufman, "I don't stay on one side of the aisle or the other. I go for the man."

Steinbrenner's success with the shipbuilding company gave him the clout he needed to purchase a major athletic team, and in 1972, he almost completed a deal for the Cleveland Indians. After the deal collapsed, he looked around for another, comparable venture, and that's when the New York Yankees baseball team came up for sale.

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