TAMPA, Fla. -- Hank Steinbrenner, a general partner and co-chairperson of the Yankees, died on Tuesday morning at his home in Clearwater, Fla., from a longstanding health issue. He was 63.
Steinbrenner was in his 13th season as the Yankees’ general partner and his 11th season as the club’s co-chairperson, sharing responsibilities of overseeing all aspects of the club’s business and baseball operations with his brother, Hal, the team's managing general partner.
According to the Yankees, Steinbrenner was directly involved in player negotiations, settling long-term player recruitment goals and overall club strategy.
“Hank was a genuine and gentle spirit who treasured the deep relationships he formed with those closest to him,” said the Steinbrenner family. “He was introduced to the Yankees organization at a very young age, and his love for sports and competition continued to burn brightly throughout his life. Hank could be direct and outspoken, but in the very same conversation show great tenderness and light-heartedness. More than anything, he set an example for all of us in how comfortably he lived enjoying his personal passions and pursuits. We are profoundly saddened to have lost him and will carry his memory with us always.”
Born on April 2, 1957, and raised in his birthplace of Cleveland, Steinbrenner was the eldest of four children by former Yankees principal owner George M. Steinbrenner III and his wife, Joan.
Beginning in 2003, George Steinbrenner spoke of wanting to “let the young elephants in the tent” as part of the club’s operations. Hank and Hal Steinbrenner began overseeing the day-to-day business of the club in 2007.
During that season, Hank Steinbrenner displayed some of The Boss’ bombast while handling events like the managerial shift from Joe Torre to Joe Girardi and the negotiation of a new contract for slugger Alex Rodriguez. He also was not shy about voicing opinions, like a belief that the Yankees should acquire star pitcher Johan Santana from the Twins.
When the Yankees celebrated their 27th World Series championship in 2009, Hank Steinbrenner was by his father’s side in Florida, watching the action on television. George Steinbrenner died in July 2010.
In addition to his Yankees duties, Steinbrenner spent many decades passionately involved in the breeding, raising and racing of horses, serving as a Vice President and Director of Bay Farms Corporation since 1985 and as a longtime member of the board of the Ocala Breeders Sales Company.
Steinbrenner was on the board of the YES Network and the Gold Shield Foundation. He was also involved in several not-for-profit causes and children’s charities in New York and the Tampa Bay area, including the Joshua House, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Gigi’s Playhouse Tampa, The Children’s Dream Fund and the New York Yankees Foundation.
A product of Culver (Ind.) Military Academy who also attended Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo., Steinbrenner held additional roles as chairman of Minch Transit Company and vice president of Mid-Florida Hotels Corporation. In 2000, he coordinated a multi-year partnership with Gwynn Racing to field a Gwynn/Steinbrenner top fuel Yankees dragster on the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Drag Racing Tour.
Joined by his son George Michael Steinbrenner IV, Steinbrenner re-entered the world of competitive racing in 2016, contributing to the formation of Steinbrenner Racing.
He is survived by four children, daughters Jacqueline and Julia, and sons George Michael IV and John, one granddaughter, Anabel, and his siblings, Jennifer, Jessica and Hal, and their families.
During this time of mourning, the family respectfully asks for the privacy needed to grieve this tremendous loss.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Friends of Joshua House Foundation (www.friendsofjoshuahouse.org; P.O. Box 26333, Tampa, FL 33623, 813-263-3469) or to a charity of one’s choosing.