He is complicated. He is temperamental. He is contradictory. Many people have differing opinions when it comes to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, probably as differing as his moods. Love him or hate him, Steinbrenner didn't get to where he is today by chance.
His "Yankee" status revealed even by his birth date, George Michael Steinbrenner III was born July 4th, 1930, in Rocky River, Ohio. Before becoming owner and chief operating officer of the American Shipbuilding Company, Steinbrenner was an assistant football coach at Northwestern and Purdue.
Working in the family business, Steinbrenner earned his fortune by heading the Cleveland-based American Shipbuilding Company.
In 1973, he became the principal owner of what is considered the best baseball team in the league: the New York Yankees. Despite the fact that Steinbrenner knew nothing about baseball at the time, the investor group that Steinbrenner assembled bought the team from CBS.
His time with the Yankees has been marked by controversy, disagreements and success. As club president from 1979 to 1990, Steinbrenner believed in the pursuit of free agent players as the key to filling up the stadium's seats, and it was this pursuit that led to the Yankees' World Series win in 1979.
Steinbrenner was eventually suspended from the sport from 1990 until 1992 for his negative behavior. One of the promises the Boss made upon purchasing the team was that he would not meddle too much in the goings-on of the team. For better or for worse, that was not a well-kept promise.
In 1993, he returned to head the team and has since been involved in talks about whether or not to relocate Yankee Stadium, as well as refusing offers to sell the team. Steinbrenner tried to groom one of his sons to take over the baseball "family business", but that plan failed after his son and son-in-law quit the team.
Still, another son and son-in-law do work for the Yankees, but the question remains whether or not Steinbrenner, who has been the boss for 27 years, will step down.
Known for his fondness of firing managers and players whenever a controversy arises (he has fired at least 17 managers in his day), NBC sitcoms Saturday Night Live and Seinfeld have poked fun at the moody team owner.
Steinbrenner was even involved in political controversy when he illegally participated in President Nixon's campaign for presidency.
Usually a tabloid and media favorite, Steinbrenner has been keeping a lower profile as of late.
Although Steinbrenner is seen as unpredictable and spontaneous, he does in fact do a lot of research, and his decision-making is not as spur-of-the-moment as it seems.
Whatever he does, this business man with boundless energy and a penchant for controversy is still heading the most valuable American sports franchise, and after 27 years, he's still going strong.