Joan Steinbrenner, a philanthropist and vice-chairwoman of the Yankees and the widow of George Steinbrenner, who had a tumultuous but hugely successful run as the team’s principal owner and chairman, died on Tuesday at her home in Tampa, Fla. She was 83.
The Steinbrenner family announced the death in a statement.
Mrs. Steinbrenner supported many philanthropic organizations over the years. In her native Ohio, she worked with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. In Florida, she was named state chairwoman for the Special Olympics held there in 1981 and 1982 and at various times sat on the boards of the National Society to Prevent Blindness, the St. Joseph’s Hospitals Foundation in Tampa, the Children’s Home Network in Tampa and the Florida Orchestra.
Elizabeth Joan (pronounced jo-ann) Zieg was born on Aug. 25, 1935, in Mount Vernon, Ohio. She graduated from Upper Arlington High School in Columbus and Ohio State University, earning a degree in dental hygiene.
She met Mr. Steinbrenner, a fellow Ohio native who was five years her senior, while he was doing postgraduate studies at Ohio State. They married in 1956.
Mr. Steinbrenner led a group that purchased the Yankees in 1973. Brusque and tempestuous, often sparring with managers and players, he put a formidable stamp on the team as it won 11 pennants and seven World Series championships and grew rich. Forbes estimates its worth at $3.7 billion, making it the most valuable franchise in baseball. He died in 2010 at 80.
Ms. Steinbrenner is survived by her four children, Hal, Hank, Jennifer and Jessica Steinbrenner, who are the club’s current general partners; 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.