Timeline of George Steinbrenner's life

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / July 14, 2010

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A timeline of the life of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who passed away on Tuesday:

July 4, 1930: George Michael Steinbrenner III born in Rocky River, Ohio.

May 1952: Graduates from Williams College.

1955-56: Assistant football coach at Northwestern and Purdue.

May 12, 1956: Marries Joan Zieg.

1960: Purchases Cleveland Pipers of the National Industrial Basketball League.

Jan. 3, 1973: A group of businessmen led by Steinbrenner purchase the Yankees from CBS for $10 million.

April 29, 1973: Pressured by Steinbrenner, team president Michael Burke quits the Yankees.

Aug. 30, 1974: Steinbrenner pleads guilty to making illegal contributions to president Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign along with obstruction of justice. Fined $15,000.

Nov. 27, 1974: Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspends Steinbrenner for two years for his crimes. Suspension is later reduced to 15 months.

Aug. 1, 1975: With Steinbrenner orchestrating the move from afar, Bill Virdon is fired as manager and replaced by former Yankee Billy Martin.

March 1, 1976: Kuhn reinstates Steinbrenner.

Oct. 18, 1977: Reggie Jackson hits three home runs in the finale, the Yankees defeat the Dodgers in six games to win their first World Series since 1962.

July 23, 1978: Martin tells reporters in Kansas City that Jackson and Steinbrenner deserve each other. “One’s a born liar and the other’s convicted,’’ he says.

July 24, 1978: Martin resigns as manager.

July 29, 1978: An Old Timers’ Day crowd at Yankee Stadium is stunned when Steinbrenner has it announced that Martin will return as manager in 1980.

Oct. 17, 1978: Led by manager Bob Lemon, Yankees win second straight World Series by defeating the Dodgers in six games.

June 17, 1979: Steinbrenner fires Lemon and replaces him with Martin.

Oct. 28, 1979: Martin is fired.

Oct. 25, 1981: Steinbrenner claims to have fought two Dodgers fans in a hotel following a World Series loss in Los Angeles. “I clocked them,’’ Steinbrenner says after calling a midnight press conference in his suite. “There are two guys in this town looking for their teeth and two guys who will probably sue me.’’ To this day, the story has never been confirmed.

Oct. 28, 1981: Yankees lose World Series in six games against the Dodgers. Team will not return to the playoffs until 1995.

April 26, 1982: Manager Bob Lemon is fired 14 games into the season.

April 28, 1985: Manager Yogi Berra is fired 16 games into the season.

Jan. 19, 1989: President Ronald Reagan pardons Steinbrenner for illegal campaign contributions made to Richard Nixon in 1974.

July 30, 1990: Commissioner Fay Vincent bans Steinbrenner from baseball for life for paying small-time gambler Howard Spira $40,000 for information on Dave Winfield. The outfielder had sued Steinbrenner for failing to make a $300,000 contribution to his foundation.

Oct. 20, 1990: Steinbrenner hosts “Saturday Night Live’’ on NBC.

March 1, 1993: Steinbrenner is reinstated by Vincent.

May 19, 1994: Comedian Larry David portrays Steinbrenner in the popular NBC sitcom “Seinfeld’’ for the first time. Steinbrenner becomes a recurring character, appearing in 15 episodes.

Nov. 2, 1995: On the advice of team public relations executive Arthur Richman, Steinbrenner hires Joe Torre as manager.

Oct. 26, 1996: Yankees defeat the Atlanta Braves to win their first World Series since 1978. Steinbrenner cries at awards ceremony.

Oct. 21, 1998: Yankees finish four-game sweep of the San Diego Padres to win the World Series. After going 114-48 in the regular season, the Yankees were 11-2 in the playoffs.

April 1, 1999: Steinbrenner labels pitcher Hideki Irabu a “fat pussy toad’’ after he failed to cover first base in an exhibition game. Irabu is thrown off the team for two days.

Oct. 27, 1999: Yankees sweep the Braves to repeat as World Series champions.

Oct. 26, 2000: Yankees beat the Mets in five games for fourth World Series title in five years.

Sept. 10, 2001: Yankees announce creation of their own cable television network, YES.

Oct. 25, 2003: Yankees eliminated from World Series, losing 2-0 in Game 6 against the Florida Marlins.

Dec. 27, 2003: Steinbrenner collapses while attending the memorial service for football legend Otto Graham in Sarasota, Fla. Episode marks the start of his decline in health.

Oct. 29, 2006: Steinbrenner collapses while watching his granddaughter in a performance of “Cabaret’’ at the University of North Carolina. He is rushed to a nearby hospital and kept overnight.

Oct. 6, 2007: In one of his last interviews, Steinbrenner says from a New York hotel room that Torre will likely not be retained unless the Yankees advance in the playoffs. The team is eliminated two days later.

Oct. 18, 2007: Torre resigns rather than accept incentive-laden one-year contract.

Oct. 29, 2007: Joe Girardi is selected to replace Torre as manager. Don Mattingly, considered a favorite of Steinbrenner, is passed over.

Nov. 4, 2009: Yankees win 27th World Championship, the seventh under Steinbrenner.

July 13, 2010: Steinbrenner dies of a heart attack in a Tampa, Fla., hospital at the age of 80.

General managers under Steinbrenner
Lee McPhail (1973-74)
abe Paul (1974, ’75, 76-77)
Tal Smith (1974, 1975)
Cedric Tallis (1978-79)
Gene Michael (1980-81, 91-95)
Bill Bergesch (1982-83)
Murray Cook (1984)
Clyde King (1985-86)
Woody Woodard (1987)
Lou Piniella (1987-88)
Bob Quinn Sr. (1988-89)
Harding Peterson (1990)
Bob Watson (1996-98)
Brian Cashman (1998- )
Managers under Steinbrenner

Ralph Houk (1973)
Bill Virdon (1974-75)
Billy Martin (1975-78, ’83, ’85, ’88)
Dick Howser (1978, 1980)
Bob Lemon (1978-79, ’81, ’82)
Gene Michael (1981-82)
Clyde King (1982)
Yogi Berra (1984-85)
Lou Piniella (1986-88)
Dallas Green (1989)
Bucky Dent (1989-90)
Stump Merrill (1991)
Buck Showalter (1992-95)
Joe Torre (1996-2007)
Joe Girardi (2008- )

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