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Steelers History

On This Day: Steelers Founder Art Rooney Sr. Born in Coulter, Pa.



Steelers Founder Art Rooney

COULTER, Pa. — Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney, Sr. aka “The Chief” was born on Jan. 27, 1901 in Coulter, Pennsylvania, a small town south of McKeesport on the east bank of the Youghoigheny River, about 15 miles from Pittsburgh.

On what would have been Rooney’s 123rd birthday, Alan Saunders of Steelers Now took a quick tour of the town to show how Rooney’s small-town Pennsylvania upbringing influenced “The Chief” and the football team that he created in 1933.

Rooney’s family moved from Coulter to the North Side of Pittsburgh when he was 12 years old, in 1913, and his career remained centered in Pittsburgh from thereafter.

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, and played their games at Forbes Field in Oakland, along with the city’s Major League Baseball team.

His team eventually moved back to its North Side roots, at Three Rivers Stadium in 1970 and now plays at Acrisure Stadium, just down the road from Rooney’s second home on the North Side.

Even after his sporting career took him away from Coulter, Art Rooney Sr. returned to his hometown often until his death in 1988. His grandson, Art Rooney II, is now the team’s president.

Steelers Now Youtube

Click to check out more from Alan Saunders and Nick Farabaugh on the Steelers Now YouTube page.