George Steinbrenner dies of massive heart attack

George Steinbrenner, the man who has owned the Yankees since 1973, has died of a massive heart attack, is reporting.

Steinbrenner picked up the team for $8.7m back then, but the man credited with restoring the Yankees glory said at the time he wasn’t going to quit his day job:

“We plan absentee ownership as far as running the Yankees is concerned,” Steinbrenner said. “We’re not going to pretend we’re something we aren’t. I’ll stick to building ships.”

Steinbrenner’s family released a statement, published in part by The New York Times, confirming his death:

“He was an incredible and charitable man,” the family said in a statement.

“He was a visionary and a giant in the world of sports. He took a great but struggling franchise and turned it into a champion again.”

Steinbrenner died late last night in Tampa, where he lived year-round. He was 80. He leaves behind a wife, Joan, and four children, Hank, Hal, Jennifer and Jessica.