Owner of Cleveland Indians twice and part owner of New York Yankees
Francis J. "Steve" O'Neill (September 18, 1899 – August 29, 1983) was the principal owner of the Cleveland Indians of the American League from 1978 through 1983. In 1978, O'Neill purchased the Indians from the ownership group headed by Ted Bonda. After his death, O'Neill's estate owned the team until Richard Jacobs purchased the Indians in 1986.
O'Neill was a lifelong resident of Cleveland. His family made its fortune in the trucking business.In 1961, 79 O'Neill family companies merged to form LEASEWAY TRANSPORTATION CORP., of which O'Neill became chairman of the board until 1969, remaining afterwards on the board of directors. He was also part of the group that bought Sheraton Cleveland Hotel on PUBLIC SQUARE and leased it to Stouffer Corp., which renamed the hotel STOUFFER'S INN ON THE SQUARE. He bought a minority interest in the Indians in 1961, and was a limited partner during the tenures of William R. Daley, Gabe Paul and Vernon Stouffer. In 1973, however, he sold his Indians interest to become a limited partner in George Steinbrenner's syndicate that bought the New York Yankees. Five years later, he sold off his Yankees interest and bought a 63 percent stake in the Indians.
O'Neill was an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame, where he played basketball.
Cleveland HistoryBy BR Bullpen
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- Baseball History, Cleveland Indians, Gabe Paul, George Steinbrenner, MLB Owner, New York Yankees, University of Notre Dame