Less than an hour before his death was reported, it was learned that Steinbrenner was in serious condition in a Tampa hospital. The New York Daily News reported shortly thereafter that Steinbrenner, who turned 80 on July 4, had died around 6:30 a.m. The Yankees later confirmed the report.
Steinbrenner's health had been in decline for several years, a period in which he's made fewer and fewer public appearances. The Yankees protected his health information from the public, yet rumors circulated that he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease — rumors that were substantiated in a 2009 Daily News report.
He purchased the Yankees in 1973, instantly becoming the most polarizing figure in baseball. Steinbrenner brought success back to the Bronx, winning 11 pennants and seven World Series titles during his time as owner. His impact was felt beyond the playing field, as he revolutionized the business side of the sport. Since the team was sold to him in 1973, he's turned the Yankees into one of the most profitable sports franchises in the world, ranking fifth on Forbes' list and first among baseball teams. No other baseball team made the top 10.
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