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On This Day: Steelers Founder Art Rooney Sr. Born in 1901

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Art Rooney Sr.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are celebrating the 121st birthday of Art Rooney Sr. today, the founder of the team.

Art. Rooney Sr., also known as “The Chief,” was born Jan. 27, 1901 in Coulterville, Pa. and moved to the North Side of the Pittsburgh in 1913 with his family.

After graduating from college and spending time playing a variety of sports, including minor league baseball, boxing and football, Art. Rooney Sr. founded the Steelers in 1933 after paying a $2,500 franchise fee. The team was originally known as the Pittsburgh Pirates, after the baseball team, before becoming the Steelers in 1940.

Art Rooney Sr. would not only own the team, but also was the first President and the first Chairman of the Steelers as well. He would hold position of President from 1933 to 1974 and position of Chairman from 1933 to his death in 1988.

During his time running the Steelers, Art Rooney Sr. would oversee the team’s greatest period of success with four Super Bowls in the late 1970s. His son, Dan Rooney, took over for the team as chairman in 1974 and then as owner of the team in 1988 when Art Rooney Sr. died.

The ownership of the team has stayed in the Rooney family, as Art Rooney II is now President of the team and took over after his father, Dan Rooney, died in 2017.

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