April 14 (UPI) -- New York Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner died Tuesday. He was 63.
"Hank was a genuine and gentle spirit who treasured the deep relationships he formed with those closest to him," the Steinbrenner family said. "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."
Steinbrenner was the eldest son of former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Hank and brother Hal Steinbrenner assumed co-ownership of the storied American League East franchise when George died in 2010. Hank was in his 13th year as a Yankees general partner and 11th as co-chairperson.
Steinbrenner was born April 2, 1957, as the oldest of four children by George M. Steinbrenner III and his wife, Joan.
He went to Culver Military Academy and Central Methodist College in Missouri before holding roles as the chairman of Minch Transit Company and vice president of Mid-Florida Hotels Corporation. He was also heavily involved in auto racing.
Steinbrenner partnered with Wynn Racing in 2000 to field a dragster on the National Hot Rod Association Drag Racing Tour. He later contributed to the formation of Steinbrenner Racing and participated in two seasons in the Indy Lights developmental circuit.
In 2019, Harding Steinbrenner Racing competed on the IndyCar circuit. Son George Michael Steinbrenner IV is the youngest owner to win a race in the history of the IndyCar Series. Harding Steinbrenner Racing recently merged with Andretti Autosport to form Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport.
Steinbrenner was also involved in breeding, raising and racing horses. He had been the vice president and director of Bay Farms Corp. since 1985 and is a member of the board of the Ocala Breeders Sales Co.
Steinbrenner also served on the board of the YES Network and Gold Shield Foundation at the time of his passing. He was also involved in several not-for-profit initiatives and children's charities in New York and Tampa, Fla.
He is survived by daughters Jacqueline and Julia, sons George Michael IV and John, granddaughter, Anabel, sisters Jennifer and Jessica and brother Hal. Jennifer and Jessica are also general partners and vice chairpersons for the Yankees.
George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees for $8.7 million in 1973. Last week, Forbes ranked the Yankees as the most valuable franchise in Major League Baseball at an estimated $5 billion. The Yankees have been the most valuable MLB franchise for 23 consecutive years.