Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.

Last updated

Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.
5-super-bowl-wins.jpg
Born
Edward John DeBartolo Jr.

(1946-11-06) November 6, 1946 (age 74)
NationalityAmerican
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
OccupationBusinessman
Known forCo-founder and CEO of Simon DeBartolo Group
Spouse(s)
Candy DeBartolo
(m. 1968)
Children3, including Tiffanie
Parent(s)
Relatives Denise DeBartolo York (sister)
Jed York (nephew)

Football career
San Francisco 49ers
Position:Principal owner
Career history
As an executive:
Career highlights and awards

Edward John DeBartolo Jr. (born November 6, 1946) is an American businessman best known for his 23-year ownership of the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). [1] The five Super Bowls the 49ers dynasty won in 14 years were a record total for a single owner. [2] On February 6, 2016, DeBartolo was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a contributor. [3]

Contents

DeBartolo was involved in the 1998 corruption case of Edwin Edwards, former governor of Louisiana. DeBartolo pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to report a felony, and received a $1 million fine and two years of probation in return for his testimony against Edwards. DeBartolo was fined by the NFL, and barred from active control of the 49ers for a year. [4] On February 18, 2020, President Donald Trump granted DeBartolo a presidential pardon. [5]

Career

DeBartolo developed shopping malls as part of a corporation founded by his father, Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. The Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation became one of the largest public real estate businesses in the United States, at one point controlling over two billion square feet of retail real estate space nationwide. [6]

In addition, DeBartolo was actively involved in franchise ownership and sports management, becoming one of the most successful [1] and generous [2] [7] owners in professional sports. His ownership of the 49ers proved especially notable. During his twenty-three years owning the team, beginning in 1977, the 49ers won an unprecedented five Super Bowls under coaches Bill Walsh and George Seifert: Super Bowl XVI in 1982, XIX in 1985, XXIII in 1989, XXIV 1990, and XXIX in 1995. From the early 1980s through the mid-1990s, DeBartolo presided over a team that had the most wins within a decade in football history. [8]

According to 49ers quarterback Steve Young, DeBartolo's "family approach" to running the team changed the landscape of the NFL. Under it "the players were what mattered", and that changed the face of the sport as other teams began to follow the 49ers' model. "In most of the league, the players were chattel. What I see in the league today are owners who have made their players partners. That changes the nature of the NFL." [2]

DeBartolo affirms this, saying: "I tried to run the 49ers like a family rather than a business. I viewed the players and myself really, basically, as a partnership. Our goal was to win the Super Bowl every year, and we had to do that together." [2]

In 1991, DeBartolo arranged to sell the family-owned Pittsburgh Penguins National Hockey League franchise to assist the DeBartolo Corporation in the aftermath of the real estate collapse of 1987. His sister, Denise DeBartolo York, had served as president. Five years later, many family-owned shopping malls were sold to the Simon Property Group, which operated for a few years as the Simon DeBartolo Group.

In 1992, DeBartolo was accused of sexual assault at his Menlo Park condo by a cocktail waitress he met at a local bar. The married DeBartolo, who denied any wrongdoing, was never charged but reportedly paid $200,000 to settle the case out of court. [9]

DeBartolo was involved in the 1998 corruption case of Edwin Edwards, former governor of Louisiana. DeBartolo pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to report a felony, and received a $1 million fine and two years of probation in return for his testimony against Edwards. Edwards was on trial for extortion and other charges, among which were the $400,000 he demanded from DeBartolo to gain a riverboat casino license. DeBartolo received the license, but withdrew from the casino project after he was subpoenaed during the subsequent bribery investigation. [10] DeBartolo was fined by the NFL, and barred from active control of the 49ers for a year. [4]

He could have returned to the team, [2] but instead ceded control of the franchise to his sister, Denise York, in 2000, in return for other parts of the family business empire. [2] In spite of the public perception that the transfer had been forced by the league, DeBartolo confirms it was voluntary: [2]

...Truthfully, the team really wasn't taken away from me. I think it's been a misnomer for many many years. Commissioner Tagliabue did obviously suspend me, but as I was going through negotiations with my family and we went through these negotiations and we went through them with lawyers, obviously and with a judge in Akron, Ohio. It did not come down to that team being taken, it came down to a decision that had to be made whether or not I wanted the 49ers or whether or not I wanted to take the other part of the company. And I figured at that time, and my sister Denise (49ers owner Denise York) was involved totally as was her family. I decided in that meeting in Akron Ohio, that I thought it would be best that I took the other side and my tenure with the 49ers would end then and end there. I don't know if that story has ever been told, it may have been, it may have not been. But, it really was a choice, I figured there was more to do with my life at that time. I had succeeded and done a lot with the 49ers. It meant the world to me, but I figured with my daughters, with them getting older and obviously with all of us getting older and having grandchildren at the time, and them planning on families, that it would be best for me to do what was best to be a good grandfather, be a good husband and dad, and do what I want to do and maybe travel a little bit and spend more time with my family. [11]

Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Muñoz of the Cincinnati Bengals attended a celebrity flag-football game at Candlestick Park in 2014 — the last event before the 49ers' old home was torn — where he said:

The final touchdown pass, there were probably 30,000 people in that stadium viewing a bunch of old guys playing a flag football game, but to see (Montana) throw to (DeBartolo) for the final touchdown there and to hear the fans go crazy and to see the admiration from these former players like Ronnie Lott and Joe Montana; that to me was impressive ... to me, that's what it's all about. [2]

On February 18, 2020, President Donald Trump granted DeBartolo a presidential pardon. [5]

Personal life

DeBartolo was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of Marie Patricia (Montani) and Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., a real estate developer. [12] He went to high school at Cardinal Mooney.

DeBartolo has three daughters with his wife Candy, Lisa, Nicole, and Tiffanie. Tiffanie is an author and the director of the film Dream for an Insomniac (1996). In 2007, DeBartolo co-founded Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School in Tampa, Florida with fellow Pro Football Hall of Fame member Derrick Brooks.

DeBartolo also has a half-brother, Edward M. Kobel, who is the current president and COO of DeBartolo Development.

DeBartolo's mother was Marie Patricia Montani DeBartolo, in whose honor the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame was posthumously dedicated.

Awards and honors

Related Research Articles

Bill Walsh (American football coach) American football coach

William Ernest Walsh was an American professional and college football coach. He served as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and the Stanford Cardinal, during which time he popularized the West Coast offense. After retiring from the 49ers, Walsh worked as a sports broadcaster for several years and then returned as head coach at Stanford for three seasons.

San Francisco 49ers National Football League franchise in Santa Clara, California

The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) West division. The team plays its home games at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, located 38 miles (61 km) southeast of San Francisco in the heart of Silicon Valley. Since 1988, the 49ers have been headquartered in Santa Clara.

Joe Montana American football quarterback

Joseph Clifford Montana Jr. is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 seasons. Nicknamed "Joe Cool" and "the Comeback Kid", he spent most of his career with the San Francisco 49ers. After winning a national championship at Notre Dame, Montana started his NFL career in 1979 with San Francisco, where he played for the next 14 seasons. While a member of the 49ers, Montana started and won four Super Bowls and was the first player ever to have been named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player three times. He also holds Super Bowl career records for most passes without an interception and the all-time highest passer rating of 127.8. In 1993, Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for his final two seasons, and he led that franchise to its first AFC Championship Game in January 1994. Montana was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

Steve Young American football quarterback

Jon Steven Young is a former professional American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 15 seasons, primarily with the San Francisco 49ers. He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Prior to his NFL career, he was a member of the Los Angeles Express in the United States Football League (USFL) for two seasons. Young played college football for Brigham Young University (BYU), setting school and NCAA records en route to being runner-up for the 1983 Heisman Trophy.

Frederick Rudolph Dean was an American professional football player who was a defensive end in the National Football League (NFL). A two-time first-team All-Pro and a four-time Pro Bowler, he won two Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

Dwight Edward Clark was an American football wide receiver and executive. He played nine seasons for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1979 to 1987, which included San Francisco's first two Super Bowl championship teams.

Bill Romanowski American football linebacker

William Thomas Romanowski, nicknamed "Romo", and "RomoCop", is a former American football linebacker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 seasons, primarily with the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos. Selected by the 49ers in the third round of the 1988 NFL Draft, he spent six seasons each in San Francisco and Denver. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders for two seasons each. At the time of his retirement, Romanowski won four Super Bowl titles, two each with the 49ers and Broncos, and twice received Pro Bowl honors during his Broncos tenure. He also led a controversial career due to often engaging in unsportsmanlike behavior, which resulted in altercations with opponents and teammates.

Anthony Muñoz American football player

Michael Anthony Muñoz, is an American former professional football player who was an offensive tackle for 13 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). Muñoz is widely considered to be one of the greatest offensive linemen in NFL history. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

Ozzie Newsome American football player, executive

Ozzie Newsome Jr. is an American former professional football player who was a tight end for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He was inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame (1994) and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1999). He is also the former general manager of the Baltimore Ravens (1996–2018) and now serves as a behind-the-scenes executive with the team.

Carmen Policy is an attorney and American football executive best known for his work for the San Francisco 49ers during the 1980s and 1990s. He also led the Cleveland Browns until he sold his minority ownership stake in 2004.

Lon Simmons

Lonnie Alexander "Lon" Simmons was an American sports announcer, best known for his play-by-play broadcasts of San Francisco Giants baseball and San Francisco 49ers football.

Monte Dale Clark was an American football player who served as head coach for the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions. He played college football at USC.

John Edward McVay is a former American football coach who rose through the coaching ranks from high school, through the college level, and to the National Football League (NFL). Born in Bellaire, Ohio, he played college football at Miami University, starring as a center.

DeBartolo is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Edward John DeBartolo Sr. was an American businessman. In 1971, his Ohio-based corporation was ranked as 47th among the nation's top 400 construction contractors. In 1983, DeBartolo was included on Forbes magazine's first Forbes 400 list of richest Americans.

John C. York is a retired American cancer research pathologist, married to Marie Denise DeBartolo York, and former co-owner and current co-chairman of the San Francisco 49ers.

Marie Denise DeBartolo York is an American billionaire businesswoman, who is the owner and co-chair of the San Francisco 49ers American football team. She is the daughter of late construction magnate Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. and the late Marie Patricia Montani DeBartolo.

Tiffanie DeBartolo is an American novelist, filmmaker, co-founder of the independent record label Bright Antenna, and co-founder of The ShineMaker Foundation. Tiffanie has written three novels: God-Shaped Hole,How To Kill a Rock Star, and SORROW. She wrote and directed the film Dream for an Insomniac, featuring Ione Skye and Jennifer Aniston, released in 1996. She also penned the text to the graphic novel GRACE: The Jeff Buckley Story, which was released in April 2019.

Edward William "Ed" Muransky is a former professional American football offensive tackle who played for the Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League (NFL) and Orlando Renegades of the United States Football League (USFL). He was a member of the Super Bowl XVIII Champion Raiders. Prior to this he was an All-American and Academic All-American athlete who played for the University of Michigan Wolverines during the 1979–1981 seasons.

Jed York American businessman (born 1981)

John Edward "Jed" York is an American businessman who is the CEO of the San Francisco 49ers NFL franchise. York is the son of Denise DeBartolo York and John York, and nephew of former 49ers owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.

References

  1. 1 2 "DeBartolo Holdings". DeBartolo Holdings. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Family approach leads Eddie DeBartolo to steps of Hall of Fame
  3. 1 2 Price, Taylor. "Former 49ers Owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. Selected to Pro Football Hall of Fame". Forty Niners Football Company LLC. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  4. 1 2 Cole, Jason (August 1, 2008). "Is DeBartolo worthy of spot in Hall?". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  5. 1 2 Smith, Michael David (February 18, 2020). "Trump pardons Eddie DeBartolo Jr". profootballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  6. "DeBartolo Holdings History". DeBartolo Holdings. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  7. Rick Reilly (September 10, 1990). "To Eddie DeBartolo Jr., the most generous owner in sports, nothing is too good for a San Francisco 49er – SI Vault". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  8. "Historical Highlights". 49ers.com. June 6, 1944. Archived from the original on December 23, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  9. Winokur, Scott (August 1, 1999). "The Life & Times Of Eddie Debartolo". sfgate.com. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  10. Dietz, David; Arceneaux, Howard (October 7, 1998). "DeBartolo Guilty of Felony / $1 million fine, 2 years of probation". sfgate.com. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  11. 1 2 Holloway, Patrick (January 26, 2016). "Eddie DeBartolo speaks to Bay Area media". Niners Nation. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  12. Gareffa, Peter M. (March 1989). Newsmakers, 1989 Subscription. ISBN   9780810322080.
  13. Knapp, Gwen (April 22, 2008). "DeBartolo: 49ers on right track". Sfgate.com. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  14. "49ers Honor Former Owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr". espn.go.com. September 20, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  15. "Homepage News Article » Road to Canton (via South Florida)". Profootballhof.com. October 14, 2009. Archived from the original on January 13, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010.