Hank Steinbrenner, 63, co-owner of the New York Yankees with his younger brother Hal, died Tuesday from a lengthy, unnamed illness in Clearwater, Fla., the team confirmed.
The brothers inherited the team from their legendary father George Steinbrenner, who died in 2010. Hank had more of the fiery qualities of his father than Hal. But the younger, quieter brother, now 50, became the public face of the team.
The two were named co-chairmen of the team in 2007.
“Hank was a genuine and gentle spirit who treasured the deep relationships he formed with those closest to him,” the Steinbrenner family said in a statement.
“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.”
Fans showed approval for the in-your-face style of Hank, perhaps nostalgic for his father. Hank, like George, pushed for adding stars to the roster. He was instrumental in keeping Alex Rodriguez on the team at the end of his first contract in 2007.
Hank and Hal have presided over one World Series title - in 2009.
Hank lived in Tampa and used to hang around the Yankees spring training there, but he was mostly absent for the last two years.
His death wasn't related to the coronavirus, Sports Illustrated said citing multiple reports.
In addition to Hal, Hank is survived by sisters Jessica Steinbrenner and Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindal. Hank’s son, George Steinbrenner IV, owns Steinbrenner Racing, the family’s IndyCar team.