When minority owner John Rooney passed away on Tuesday, December 27, 2022, it was with great grief that The Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL lost a significant player. Rooney was the brother of former chairman Daniel M. Rooney and the son of Arthur J. Rooney, who founded the Steelers. Let’s examine John’s influence on the NFL as we pay tribute to him.
The son of Art Rooney, Sr., who founded the Pittsburgh Steelers, John Rooney, passed away. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Steelers, a former club co-owner named John Rooney, did not immediately announce his passing. Rooney was Art Rooney II’s uncle and the brother of the late Steelers chairman Dan Rooney. Dan Rooney passed away in 2017 at 84.
After Art Rooney, Sr. passed away in 1987, the five Rooney brothers, including John, reportedly possessed a 16 per cent stake in the team, according to the Post-Gazette. The McGinley family held the remaining 20% of the shares. In 2015, according to the Post-Gazette, John Rooney sold all but one per cent of his own in the team.
Who is John Rooney?
John Rooney was one of the most well-liked figures in the NFL and a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2002. John Rooney contributed to creating the rich legacy that has lasted for more than 20 years as the son of Steelers founder Arthur J. Rooney and the brother of former chairman Daniel M. Rooney. With his intense love for the game and generous spirit, John helped change the history of the NFL and the lives of everyone he came into contact with.
Beginning in 1969, when he first joined the Steelers organisation, John had a long career playing professional football. Over the years, he served the team in various capacities, including the president, director of player personnel, and vice president/general manager. Additionally, while playing for Pittsburgh, he was a part of three Super Bowl-winning teams. In addition to his employment with the Steelers, he has served two other organisations, including the Baltimore Ravens for two seasons (2002–2003) as vice president and director of football operations and the Arizona Cardinals for one season (2004).
John worked for various clubs in addition to heading up the NFL Alumni from 1997 to 2003 until being named Chairman Emeritus in 2004. At league meetings in 2003 and 2004, he was voted to represent the NFL owners as an alternate. While there, he promoted player safety initiatives, including upgraded helmets and knee braces that helped shield players from significant injuries while playing football. Other league owners gave him the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football in 2013–2014 in recognition of his contributions in this field.
How did John Rooney die?
Although the Steelers have not yet made a formal statement regarding his demise, the New York Giants, who have close ties to both the Rooney family of the Steelers and their own Mara family, has announced that he has passed away.
John Rooney Obituary
John was a devoted supporter of numerous charities throughout his lifetime in Pittsburgh, including The United Way, Catholic Charities, the American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army. He was well respected by everyone who knew him throughout his life because of his generosity and eagerness to assist those around him whenever feasible. He was well-recognised both inside and outside of football circles for these qualities. John’s passing left a gaping hole in the NFL family that will never be filled.