George Steinbrenner

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Trump and Steinbrenner

  • 1986: Donald Trump attended a Yankees game with Lee Iacocca as a personal guest of George Steinbrenner. “If Lou Piniella does nothing else in his Yankee managerial career, he at least came through for the boss today. With Lee Iacocca and Donald Trump at Fort Lauderdale Stadium as guests of George Steinbrenner, Piniella directed the Yankees to a 4-1 opening-exhibition victory over the Baltimore Orioles.” (New York Times, March 9, 1986) Lee Iacocca
  • 1986: George Steinbrenner reportedly fired one of his publicist’s interns for parking his car in a way that blocked Trump from backing his own car out of a parking lot. “New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, in response to his inability to locate publicist Harvey Green one night last week, has now imposed a 9 p.m. curfew on Green, his 10th publicist in the last 13 years. […] The Yankee owner also struck in another way last week. A young intern working for publicist Green had been sent from the press box at the club's Fort Lauderdale stadium to the downstairs offices to copy some statistics. Before the intern could get back upstairs, he was fired by Steinbrenner for parking his car in such a way that Donald Trump, Steinbrenner's friend, had difficulty backing his own car out.” (Los Angeles Times, March 16, 1986)
  • 1986: Steinbrenner name-checked Donald Trump in a column published in the New York Post. “In writing about the World Series in his Monday column in The New York Post, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner quoted Milton and Wellington and dropped the names of Kate Smith, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Donald Trump and Tip O'Neill and referred to Napoleon's army.” (Washington Post, October 28, 1986)
  • 1987: Donald Trump was a guest at the wedding of George Steinbrenner's daughter, Jessica. “Jessica Steinbrenner, daughter of the New York Yankees' unlovable owner George Steinbrenner, was married Saturday in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York to Joseph Molloy, a basketball coach at St. Lawrence Academy high school in Tampa, Fla. The bride works for American Shipbuilding, her father's company in Tampa. There were no Yankees at the wedding, unless one counts baritone Robert Merrill, who sings ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at the games and who sang ‘Ave Maria’ at the wedding. Some big-money friends of Steinbrenner did attend, including Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca, developer Donald Trump and Broadway producer Jimmy Nederlander.” (Washington Post, November 9, 1987)
  • 1987: Donald Trump praised George Steinbrenner as “a very good guy.” “Trump called him ‘a very good guy’ and said ‘George has made the Yankees winners.’ But is it possible that Steinbrenner wants to win too much? ‘I don't think there is any such thing as wanting to win too much,’ Trump said. ‘Winning is what it's all about. We're all playing the game of life and winning is what it's all about.’” (New York Times, August 23, 1987)
    • Steinbrenner criticized a "prominent New Yorker" for holding a press conference to announce that he would help a suicide's widow save the family farm. “Besides leaving the family mass quantities of pride and money, both of which George has increased, Henry Steinbrenner left his only son an ironclad set of rules and regulations to live by. ‘My dad used to say, […] ‘If you do something good for somebody and more than two people know about it, you didn't do it for the right reason.’ He then cited another prominent New Yorker who held a news conference to announce a donation to a farm family beset by debts. ‘That's not the way to do it,’ Steinbrenner said. ‘When I give money, I tell people I don't want a word said about it.’ Perhaps it is a deep craving for understanding and appreciation that led him to violate that rule - he mentioned some of his many philanthropic efforts. These include contributions to the Police Athletic League, the Catholic Youth Organization, Roman Catholic broadcasting organizations and the establishment of the Silver Shield Foundation, which pays college tuitions for all children whose fathers died in the line of duty as police officers and firefighters in either New York State or Tampa.” (New York Times, August 23, 1987)
    • 1986: Trump hosted a press conference announcing that he had prevented banks from foreclosing on the family farm of a suicide’s widow. “Annabel Hill fondly remembers her first visit to New York City and the World's Fair nearly 50 years ago, but this week's trip had more magic. Hill, a slight, soft-spoken farmer whose home is a trailer in smalltown Waynesboro, Ga., found herself the center of attention in Manhattan's swank Trump Towers Thursday as the guest of real estate tycoon Donald Trump. […] Last week, Hill was resigned to losing her farm, which has been her family's livelihood for four generations. But hearing her story on television last week, Trump used his influence with local Georgia banks to allow Hill to keep her property. […] Close to tears, Hill told of her husband, Lenard, who fatally shot himself in February in the mistaken belief that his insurance would be enough to pay the couple's debts.” (Chicago Tribune, September 6, 1986)
  • 1988: George Steinbrenner was allegedly upset that Donald Trump’s publicity had outstaged his own. “The name of Donald Trump keeps popping up in the New York sports sections, and Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post says, ‘You know who this is killing? George. Yeah, George Steinbrenner. George never had this kind of media competition before. Anytime he was feeling blue, he'd just call up a reporter, toss him a bone about Billy or Reggie and sit back and wait for the back-page banner headline. BOSS HINTS SHAKE-UP! But now with Trump outflanking him at every turn, George had to resort to sliming his three best players -- Dave Winfield, Don Mattingly and Rickey Henderson -- on the day of the All-Star Game, no less, to get any ink.’” (Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1988)
  • 1983: Donald Trump appeared on a panel of business figures in the sports industry hosted by the New York Post. “Four of the nation's top sports entrepreneurs had breakfast together Thursday and gave their opinions at a newspaper-sponsored forum on a wide variety of subjects ranging from legalized gambling to the moral obligations of teams to their cities. George Steinbrenner, principal owner of the New York Yankees; Fred Wilpon, president of the New York Mets; David A. ‘Sonny’ Werblin, president of Madison Square Garden, Inc.; and Donald Trump, owner of the New Jersey Generals, answered questions for an hour posed to them by a panel of newsmen from the New York Post. Most of the questioning involved subject matter pertaining to sports within the New York City metropolitan area. The breakfast was attended by nearly 800 business and civic leaders, including Mayor Edward Koch.” (United Press International, December 15, 1983)
    • Trump claimed that none of the major sponsors of sports franchises were in the industry to make money, a claim which was immediately contradicted by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who was also a panelist. “The question was raised as to why rich people such as a shipbuilding magnate like Steinbrenner, an entertainment mogul like Werblin and real-estate biggies like Wilpon and Trump get involved in sports. ‘Sports,’ said Trump, ‘is a lousy business.’ He cited examples of teams' losing millions of dollars, and added that even when teams made a profit ‘it's peanuts by comparison to their other businesses.’ ‘If it's such a lousy business, then,’ he said, ‘why do we stay in it? Because we enjoy it.’ Fun, then, is the name of the game. ‘I'm sure,’ Trump continued, ‘that none of us up here can say he's in it for the money.’ ‘I can,’ Steinbrenner interjected. ‘I want to make money out of it.’” (New York Times, December 16, 1983)
    • Steinbrenner joked that he was withholding announcements of team management positions because he wanted to consult with Donald Trump for advice first. “Trump also took the opportunity to say that the Generals would soon announce their new coach. He hinted broadly that it would be Walt Michaels. Steinbrenner was asked when he planned to make an announcement about his managerial situation, which creates headlines almost daily. ‘I want to talk to Donald Trump about his scheduling,’ Steinbrenner said with a smile. For Steinbrenner - and this could come as a shock to some of his followers - publicity may be the name of the game.” (New York Times, December 16, 1983)

Generally Steinbrenner

George Steinbrenner is an American businessman and convicted felon who famously owned the New York Yankees and infamously broke American campaign finance law in order to channel illegal donations to Richard Nixon. The FBI's investigative files on Steinbrenner are available through their Online Disclosure Vault.

George Steinbrenner was reportedly close personal friends with Bill Fugazy.

  • 1974: Steinbrenner pleaded guilty to a felony count of campaign finance violations and a misdemeanor count of witness tampering in an effort to provide illicit support to Richard Nixon’s election campaign. “Although Steinbrenner's two suites at the Stadium are frequently filled with local politicians, where they mix with the likes of Lee Iacocca and Richard Nixon, the politicians receive modest contributions from Steinbrenner. The troubled Bronx Democratic Party, for example, gets only about $3,500 a year, according to party officials. Steinbrenner said one of the reasons he keeps a relatively low profile in the local political world was his 1974 guilty plea for illegal campaign contributions to Nixon in the 1972 Presidential race. After first pleading not guilty to 14 counts, Steinbrenner negotiated a deal and pleaded guilty to two charges, one felony and one misdemeanor, of conspiring to violate the campaign funding law and of trying to ‘influence and intimidate’ employees into lying to a grand jury. He was fined $15,000 but spared jail.” (New York Times, August 23, 1987)
  • George Steinbrenner was reportedly close personal friends with Bill Fugazy. “But winning does not always satisfy Steinbrenner, especially in a sport where the best routinely lose 3 or 4 of every 10. Perfection is what he wants. He seems obsessed with it. ‘It's all coming from his father,’ said Bill Fugazy, the limousine magnate and probably Steinbrenner's closest friend in New York. ‘His father was so tough and so disciplining that George thinks everyone needs it.’” (New York Times, August 23, 1987)
  • Steinbrenner’s family fortune came from the America Ship Building Company. “Fifty-seven years old, Steinbrenner was mostly cheerful during a two-hour lunch, talking easily about his father, who built the American Ship Building Company into the family fortune, which also includes a race track and breeding farm. He noted proudly that his father received a degree in naval architecture from M.I.T. and was the national collegiate champion in low hurdles in 1927.” (New York Times, August 23, 1987)