UPDATE, 9:54 a.m.: The Yankees have confirmed the death of George Steinbrenner:
STATEMENT FROM: FAMILY OF GEORGE M. STEINBRENNER III
RE: THE PASSING OF YANKEES PRINCIPAL OWNER / CHAIRPERSON GEORGE M. STEINBRENNER III
“It is with profound sadness that the family of George M. Steinbrenner III announces his passing. He passed away this morning in Tampa, Fla., at age 80.
“He was an incredible and charitable man. First and foremost he was devoted to his entire family – his beloved wife, Joan; his sisters, Susan Norpell and Judy Kamm, his children, Hank, Jennifer, Jessica and Hal; and all of his grandchildren.
“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.”
Mr. Steinbrenner recently celebrated his 80th birthday on July 4.
Funeral arrangements will be private. There will be an additional public service with details to be announced at a later date.
The New York Daily News, which has very good sources within the Yankees organization, is reporting that Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has passed away of a heart attack at the age of 80.
The Associated Press reported the same minutes later.
Steinbrenner, who purchased the Yankees in 1973, was baseball’s longest-tenured owner.