Dan Rooney

Daniel Milton Rooney (July 20, 1932 – April 13, 2017) was an American executive and diplomat best known for his association with the Pittsburgh Steelers, an American football team in the National Football League (NFL),[2] and son of the Steelers' founder, Art Rooney. He held various roles within the organization, most notably as president, owner and chairman.

Rooney implemented a philosophy and management style that emphasized open, practical and efficient management. The Steelers were very successful during his tenure, winning fifteen division championships, eight AFC Championships, and an NFL record six Super Bowl Championships. In 2000, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game. He was also credited with spearheading a requirement that NFL teams with head coach and general manager vacancies interview at least one minority candidate, which has become known as the "Rooney Rule".

Outside of football, Rooney served as the United States Ambassador to Ireland, from July 2009 until his resignation in December 2012.[3] He was also co-founder of the Ireland-related fundraising organization The Ireland Funds.[4]

Dan Rooney
United States Ambassador to Ireland
In office
July 3, 2009 – December 14, 2012[1]
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byThomas C. Foley
Succeeded byKevin O'Malley
Personal details
Daniel Milton Rooney

July 20, 1932
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedApril 13, 2017 (aged 84)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Patricia Reagan (m. 1952–2017)
Children9, including Art Rooney II
ParentsArt Rooney
Kathleen McNulty
RelativesRooney family
Kate Mara (grandniece)
Rooney Mara (grandniece)
Alma materDuquesne University
AwardsCBE (honorary)

Football career
Career information
High school:Cranberry (PA) North Catholic
Career history
As executive:
Career highlights and awards

Early life and education

Rooney was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Kathleen (née McNulty) and Pittsburgh Steelers' owner Art Rooney. In the Steelers organization, Rooney was involved in many aspects of the franchise from the time he was a young boy, often assisting his father at Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field. He grew up in the North Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh and attended North Catholic High School where he excelled as the team's quarterback. He was also the coach for the St. Peter's Elementary school football team, which was quarterbacked by future CIA Director and lifelong friend Michael Hayden.[5] Rooney was mentored by Fran Fogerty, Joe Carr and Ed Kiely. These men assisted in teaching him the business of football. After graduating from Duquesne University, with his major in accounting, he knew football was what he wanted to pursue.


Rooney (left), with President George W. Bush in June 2006 after winning Super Bowl XL

In 1960, Rooney originally worked as director of personnel for the Steelers. By early 1969, Rooney was managing the day-to-day operations of the team and personally selected the coaching hire of Chuck Noll. Rooney was appointed team president in 1975 and was officially given full operational control of the franchise. His father remained Chairman and President Emeritus, as well as the public face of the franchise, until his death in 1988.

Rooney generally avoided the spotlight, but he was a very active owner behind the scenes. Rooney helped lead the negotiations of the collective bargaining agreement of 1982, and is largely credited both by owners and players of having ended a strike that lasted half of the season. He was also one of the main architects of the salary cap, which was implemented in 1993. Rooney became the patriarch and controlling owner of the team, following the death of his father. In 2003, Rooney followed in his father's footsteps by slowly ceding day-to-day operations of the franchise to the next generation of the family. While Rooney was still chairman, and to many fans, the public face of the team, his son Art Rooney II assumed full operational control of the Steelers.

Sale of the Steelers

On July 7, 2008, Rooney and his son, team president Art Rooney II, announced that they were seeking to buy out his brothers' shares in the team. The team initially said that some of Rooney's four brothers want to "get out of the NFL and focus their business efforts on their racetracks and other interests." The Wall Street Journal reported that the Steelers had "been secretly shopped to potential buyers amid continuing divisions among the five sons of the team's founder, Art Rooney Sr."[6] This forced the Steelers to announce that prolonged, ongoing negotiations were under way concerning the "restructuring" of ownership, which could have resulted in the sale of the franchise or a consolidation of control within the Rooney family. Discussions had supposedly been taking place for the last two years. The use of the phrase "ensure compliance with NFL ownership policies" referred to the family's gambling operation. At the time of publication, they owned Yonkers Raceway, a harness racing track outside of New York City, and Palm Beach Kennel Club, a greyhound racetrack in West Palm Beach. The New York racetrack had been owned by the family since 1972, and the Florida racetrack had been owned since 1970. The team said "these facilities have added forms of gaming that are inconsistent with NFL gambling policy.", relating to the then-recent installation of slot machines. According to league policy, no NFL owner may own, directly or indirectly, any interests in a gambling casino. The NFL defines any facility with slot machines as a casino.[7]

The Steelers' statement said that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell asked former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue to "serve as a league representative in discussions with the family in order to reach an agreement on the separation of the gambling interests and on a restructuring of ownership if the team is sold." Any sale involving an NFL team is subject to a league review and must be approved by 75% of member clubs. The Steelers were valued at $929 million by Forbes magazine in September 2007. However, Rooney's brothers: Art Jr., Tim, Patrick and John released a statement confirming that they retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. to put a price tag on the franchise, and analysts in New York placed its value between $800 million and $1.2 billion. Their shares were likely worth more than Dan and Art II had offered in the initial buyout, and it could have raised even higher and still remain under the NFL's ceiling of $150 million in ownership debt. Each Rooney brothers' stake was worth about $160 million, or less than Dan was believed to be offering. Art Jr. was the brother who might have determined if the majority of the team remains in the Rooney family. He was formerly a Pro Football Hall of Fame nominee for his drafting skills, and was fired by Dan in 1987.[8] The brothers likely would not have retained Goldman Sachs if they felt they could soon work out a deal with Dan. The move also reflected on their fears that selling to Dan, coupled with the ensuing taxes, could leave their children and grandchildren with far less money than their shares are worth. There was also concern if any of the brothers were to die without a change in ownership, their heirs would face estate taxes of up to 45% of the shares' value. Rooney worked with Morgan Stanley and PNC Financial Services to attempt to bring in additional investors who might prop up his buyout attempt.[9]

According to the Wall Street Journal, Duquesne Capital Management chairman Stanley Druckenmiller was apparently interested in acquiring the team. On July 8, The Associated Press reported that a deal could be reached within days to sell a majority interest in the Steelers to Druckenmiller, taking control of the franchise away from the Rooney family. However Rooney, stopped short of guaranteeing that he and his son, would be able to stay at the helm of a team. He hinted that "many people," not just Druckenmiller, might be interested in the NFL franchise.[10] Later, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello stated that the NFL would continue to support the Rooneys in their efforts to retain control of the Steelers, and maintained the franchise would not relocate to another city, only that the ownership will either change or be consolidated.

On November 21, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Tim and Pat planned to sell each of their 16% stake in the Steelers, so they could remain involved in racetracks and casinos in Yonkers and West Palm Beach. John and Art Jr. each planned to keep a little less than half of their 16% stake, and Dan and Art II, were trying to acquire 30% of the team to abide by NFL policy and compiled a list of investors who, in essence, would become their new partners in the franchise.[11]


James Harrison vs. Cedrick Wilson

On March 19, 2008, Rooney released wide receiver Cedrick Wilson from the Steelers, after he was arrested for punching his former girlfriend. However earlier that month, on March 8, Rooney failed to offer any type of discipline to linebacker James Harrison for slapping his girlfriend. When asked about the incident involving Wilson, Rooney stated that "the Steelers do not condone violence of any kind, especially against women". However, he was then confronted about this by Ed Bouchette and Michael A. Fuoco of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who asked why Harrison was not punished for committing the same crime.[12] Rooney said that the cases were different and stated that "I know many are asking the question of [why] we released Wilson and Harrison we kept. The circumstances—I know of the incidents, they are completely different. In fact, when I say we don't condone these things, we don't, but we do have to look at the circumstances that are involved with other players and things like that, so they're not all the same. What James Harrison was doing and how the incident occurred, what he was trying to do was really well worth it. He was doing something that was good, wanted to take his son to get baptized where he lived and things like that. She said she didn't want to do it."

Rooney later said that Harrison had no intention of harming his girlfriend when he went to her house to pick up his son. "The situation angered him. He didn't go there with intent." Meanwhile, Rooney stated that the Wilson case was different. According to Rooney "[Wilson] knew what he was doing. He knew where his [former] girlfriend was and went to the bar looking for her. When he got there he punched her. That's different and I understand he expressed no regret.[13]

Afterwards, Rooney was criticized by the Women's Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh as a result of his comments.[12] ESPN's Matt Mosley later wrote that Rooney's attempt to "explain that Harrison's heart was in the right place ... had to be one of the worst Public Relations moments in club history."[12]

Steelers taxes and taxpayer funding

In August 2004, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Bill Steigerwald reported that Rooney's team received $5 million in state funds for a new, $12 million amphitheater. This was in addition to the $158 million in public subsidies the organization received to build Heinz Field. Steigerwald wrote that: Since the Steelers don't own any taxable property, the Rooneys dodge city and county real estate taxes. Heinz Field, which the Steelers operate and profit from in myriad ways, is owned by taxpayers through the Sports and Exhibition Authority. The team offices, practice field and workout facilities are leased from UPMC's tax-exempt Sports Performance Complex. Steelers players pay payroll and occupation taxes like everyone else. Fans pay the 5 percent city amusement tax on each ticket. But the Steelers - like a few other profit-making corporations - aren't exempt from paying both a city mercantile tax (3 mills on concessions, etc.) and a city business privilege tax (6 mills on gross receipts). Tax officials say these taxes are highly complicated to compute – and the final amounts the Steelers pay are top secret.[14]

Ambassador to Ireland

Barack Obama at Áras an Uachtaráin
Rooney with President Obama and President McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin during Obama's trip to Ireland in May 2011.

On March 17, 2009, President Obama announced he had nominated Rooney to become the next U.S. ambassador to Ireland, citing the owner's longstanding support for Irish-American charitable causes.[3] In 2008, Rooney gave $30,000 to a Democratic Party committee that aided Obama's campaign, according to CQ MoneyLine, a non-partisan group that tracks political contributions. According to David Lewis, a Vanderbilt University political scientist and the author of The Politics of Presidential Appointments, "giving coveted ambassadorships to political supporters is a relatively low-risk way for presidents to repay campaign debts."[15]

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton swore him in as the new ambassador to Ireland on July 1, 2009. Rooney presented his credentials to Irish President Mary McAleese on July 3, before making his first official speaking engagement at a lunch hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland.[16]

In an April 2011 interview with The Irish Times, Rooney mentioned that he would consider resigning his ambassadorship in order to campaign for Obama's re-election.[17] In a prepared statement released after that interview was published. Rooney stated, "I was asked what I could do to help [Obama] in the next election and I responded that the best thing I could do would be to help him campaign. Were I to do so, it would require my resignation as ambassador to Ireland. However, I am very pleased with my accomplishments to date and I intend to continue to carry out my duties."[18] On December 14, 2012, he resigned as ambassador to Ireland and returned to Pittsburgh.[1] He would eventually be replaced in June 2014 by Kevin O'Malley.[19]

Personal life

Dan Rooney 2008
Rooney in October 2008, at an Obama rally

Rooney was married to his wife Patricia Regan for sixty-five years.[20][21] They first met in the office of the Steelers where she was working, and got married soon after.[22] The couple had nine children together, although he predeceased two of his daughters.[23] Rooney was also the maternal great-uncle of actresses Kate Mara and her sister Rooney Mara.

In 2008, he surprised many with his public endorsement of Barack Obama for president. The family had traditionally been very private on politics, even being rumored to have a Republican bent. Rooney responded to his public endorsement with: "When I think of Barack Obama’s America I have great hope. I support his candidacy and look forward to his Presidency."[24]

Rooney was the benefactor of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and Vice-Chairman of The American Ireland Fund. He was also a Founding Chairman of The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania.[25] He was named to the PoliticsPA list of most influential individuals in Pennsylvania politics in 2002.[26] In 2008, Rooney became an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.[27] He won the 2009 Jack Horrigan Memorial Award, presented by the Pro Football Writers Association to honor a league or club official "for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job."[28] He was recognized in 2016 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation.[29]


Rooney died at the age of 84 on April 13, 2017.[30] Attendees at his funeral in Pittsburgh included former president Barack Obama and former secretary of state John Kerry.[31] His burial was in Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Cemetery, Ross Township, Pennsylvania.[32]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 8, 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Dan Rooney returns as Steelers' chairman". Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Rhee, Foon (March 17, 2009). "Obama nominates Dan Rooney as Irish ambassador". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  4. ^ "Our History". irelandfunds.org. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  5. ^ Wise, Mike (November 3, 2008). "Mike Wise: The Spy Who Loved Rooney". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ "Dan Rooney exploring buyout of brothers". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (from AP). July 7, 2008. Archived from the original on August 2, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  7. ^ Prisuta, Mike (July 8, 2008). "The selling of the Steelers". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on August 1, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  8. ^ Robinson, Alan (July 11, 2008). "Rooney brother may decide Steelers ownership fight". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (from AP). Archived from the original on August 8, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  9. ^ Gorman, Kevin; Mike Prisuta (July 11, 2008). "Estate tax threatens NFL's old guard of owners". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  10. ^ Prine, Carl; Mike Dudurich (July 9, 2008). "'Low key' billionaire eyes Steelers". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on August 8, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  11. ^ Bouchette, Ed; Gerry Dulac (November 21, 2008). "Two Rooney brothers to sell all shares". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  12. ^ a b c "Rooney's Comments Regarding Domestic Abuse Draw Criticism". Street and Smith's SportBusiness Daily. March 25, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  13. ^ "UPDATED: Dan Rooney mea culpa". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  14. ^ Steigerwald, Bill (August 29, 2004). "Rooney family values". Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  15. ^ Schouten, Fredreka (March 18, 2009). "Steelers owner drafted as envoy to Ireland". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
  16. ^ "Daily Appointments Schedule for July 1, 2009". July 1, 2009. Archived from the original on July 8, 2009.
  17. ^ Marlowe, Lara (April 23, 2011). "'I told Obama, you gotta go to Ireland. He said, I will'". The Irish Times. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  18. ^ Conte, Andrew (April 25, 2011). "Rooney says he's staying in Ireland". Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
  19. ^ Itkowitz, Colby; Kamen, Al (June 5, 2014). "Obama nominates Kevin O'Malley as Ireland ambassador". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  20. ^ Rutter, Joe (April 18, 2017). "Dan Rooney remembered for living life guided by faith, family and football". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  21. ^ Bouchette, Ed (April 13, 2017). "Remembering an NFL icon: Steelers owner Dan Rooney". Pittsburgh Journal Star. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  22. ^ Ruck, Rob (2010). Rooney A Sporting Life. The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska. p. 290.
  23. ^ Belson, Ken (April 13, 2017). "Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, 84, Dies; N.F.L. Force and Link to Football's Past". The New York Times. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  24. ^ Rooney, Dan (April 14, 2008). "Dan Rooney endorses Sen. Barack Obama (open letter)". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on February 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
  25. ^ "About The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA" Archived July 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved June 18, 2009.
  26. ^ "Sy Snyder's Power 50". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2002. Archived from the original on April 21, 2002.
  27. ^ Bouchette, Ed (August 2, 2008). "Steelers Notebook: Rooney honored for work for peace". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-08-02.
  28. ^ "Jack Horrigan Award". profootballwriters.org. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  29. ^ Popejoy, Curt (March 7, 2016). "Steelers chairman Dan Rooney to be honored by Jackie Robinson Foundation". steelerswire.usatoday.com. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  30. ^ "Steelers chairman Dan Rooney dies at 84". ESPN.com. April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  31. ^ Sanserino, Michael; Carswell, Simon (April 18, 2017). "Obama attends funeral of ex-ambassador to Ireland". The Irish Times. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  32. ^ "'Faith, family, football:' Steelers owner Dan Rooney mourned at funeral Mass in Pittsburgh". WTAE.com. April 18, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2017.

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Thomas C. Foley
United States Ambassador to Ireland
Succeeded by
Kevin O'Malley
Sporting positions
Vacant Chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers
Preceded by
Art Rooney
President of the Pittsburgh Steelers
Succeeded by
Art Rooney II
Alex Battle

Alex Battle (born 23 February 1999) is an English professional footballer who plays for Truro City as a forward, on loan from League One side Plymouth Argyle.

Art Rooney

Arthur Joseph Rooney Sr. (January 27, 1901 – August 25, 1988), often referred to as "The Chief", was the founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, an American football franchise in the National Football League (NFL), from 1933 until his death. Rooney is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was an Olympic qualifying boxer, and was part or whole owner in several track sport venues and Pittsburgh area pro teams. He was the first president of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1933 to 1974, and the first chairman of the team from 1933 to 1988.

Art Rooney II

Arthur Joseph Rooney II (born September 14, 1952) is the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL).

Bill Hillgrove

Bill Hillgrove (born November 20, 1940) is an American sports journalist, radio personality, and sports broadcaster. He is currently the lead play-by-play broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Steelers football network (102.5 WDVE) and for the University of Pittsburgh sports network (93.7 The Fan). He calls Pitt football games with Bill Osborn, and Pitt basketball games with National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Famer Dick Groat and former Pitt guard Curtis Aiken.

Bill Morton (American football)

Bill Morton (September 17, 1909 – April 11, 1987) was an American football player. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972.

Carol Peterson House

The Peterson House is located at 172 46th Street in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The house was built in 1886-1887 in the Italianate architectural style, and is named after the architectural historian, Carol Peterson.

Chuck Noll

Charles Henry Noll (January 5, 1932 – June 13, 2014) was a professional American football player, assistant coach and head coach. His sole head coaching position was for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1969 to 1991. When Noll retired after 23 years, only three other head coaches in NFL history had longer tenures with one team.After a six-year playing career that included two NFL Championships as a member of his hometown Cleveland Browns, and several years as an assistant coach with various teams, in 1969 Noll took the helm of the then moribund Steelers (which had played in only one post-season game in its previous 36 years, a 21–0 loss), and turned it into a perennial contender. As a head coach, Noll won four Super Bowls, four AFC titles, and nine Central Division championships, compiled a 209–156–1 overall record, a 16–8 post-season record, and had winning records in 15 of his final 20 seasons. His four Super Bowl victories rank second behind Bill Belichick for the most of any head coach in NFL history.

Between his playing and head coaching tenures, Noll won a total of six NFL Championships as well as one AFL Championship, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, his first year of eligibility.

Noll built the team through astute drafting and meticulous tutoring. During his career, he was notable for the opportunities he gave African Americans, starting the first African American quarterback in franchise history, and having one of the first black assistant coaches in league history. He was frequently credited with maintaining the morale of the Western Pennsylvania region despite a steep economic decline by fashioning a team of champions in the image of its blue collar fan base.

Deerfield Residence

For the Chancery, see Embassy of the United States in Dublin

The Deerfield Residence (formerly the Chief Secretary's Lodge) is the official residence of the Ambassador of the United States of America to Ireland.

The premises has been the Ambassador's Official Residence since 1927, and was previously the Embassy of the United States of America in Ireland. Deerfield Residence is a large 18th-century building, sitting on 62 acres (250,000 m²) of private grounds in the centre of the Phoenix Park in Dublin. It sits across from the official residence of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin.The position of United States Ambassador to Ireland became vacant on January 20, 2017, when all politically appointed U.S. ambassadors were removed from office by President Donald Trump upon his inauguration.

The previous ambassador was Kevin O'Malley. O'Malley, who was on June 5, 2014, nominated by the Obama administration as the new Ambassador to Ireland, was commissioned by the United States Senate on September 18, 2014 and appointed to the position by President Barack Obama. O'Malley was sworn-in on September 30, 2014, and presented his credentials to President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins on October 8, 2014. Dan Rooney was the previous ambassador, who resigned in December 2012. Stuart Dwyer had been the Chargé d'affaires since September 5, 2013. Dwyer became Deputy Chief of Mission following the appointment of O'Malley as ambassador.

Dwight White

Dwight Lynn White (July 30, 1949 – June 6, 2008) was an American football defensive end who played for ten seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League (NFL) and was a member of the famed Steel Curtain defense.

Emerald Isle Classic

The Emerald Isle Classic was the first NCAA-sanctioned American college football game played in Europe. The game was played at Lansdowne Road in Dublin, Ireland in the years 1988 and 1989. The first game featured a 2–7 Boston College team led by Mark Kamphaus against the 8–1 Army Black Knights. The originators of the game were Mr. Aidan J. Prendergast and Mr. Jim O'Brien. Mr. Prendergast, who is a former President of the Irish American Football Association conceived the idea of bringing a major NCAA game to Ireland in the mid 1980s and started pitching the idea on both sides of the Atlantic. Mr. Prendergast promoted both the 1988 and 1989 games.

The game is intended as an annual event to attract some of the 40 million Americans of Irish descent back to their fatherland. College teams with particularly Irish or Catholic background were chosen in an effort to attract Irish nationals to the games as well.

Jack Butler (American football)

John Bradshaw Butler (November 12, 1927 – May 11, 2013) was an American football cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). In 2012, he was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Kevin Colbert

Kevin Colbert (; born January 1957) is the general manager of the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers since the start of 2000. He is widely credited with putting together the Super Bowl XL and the Super Bowl XLIII teams in Pittsburgh along with owner Dan Rooney, president Art Rooney II, and coaches Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin.

List of General Hospital characters

This is a list of characters that have appeared or been mentioned on the American ABC soap opera General Hospital.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC.

In contrast with their status as perennial also-rans in the pre-merger NFL, where they were the oldest team never to win a league championship, the Steelers of the post-merger (modern) era are one of the most successful NFL franchises. Pittsburgh is tied with the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl titles (6), and has both played in (16) and hosted more conference championship games (11) than any other NFL team. The Steelers have won 8 AFC championships, tied with the Denver Broncos, but behind the Patriots' record 11 AFC championships. The Steelers share the record for second most Super Bowl appearances with the Broncos, and Dallas Cowboys (8). The Steelers lost their most recent championship appearance, Super Bowl XLV, on February 6, 2011.

The Steelers, whose history traces to a regional pro team that was established in the early 1920s, joined the NFL as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, owned by Art Rooney and taking its original name from the baseball team of the same name, as was common practice for NFL teams at the time. To distinguish them from the baseball team, local media took to calling the football team the Rooneymen, an unofficial nickname which persisted for decades after the team adopted its current nickname. The ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since its founding. Art's son, Dan Rooney owned the team from 1988 until his death in 2017. Much control of the franchise has been given to Dan's son Art Rooney II. The Steelers enjoy a large, widespread fanbase nicknamed Steeler Nation. The Steelers currently play their home games at Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's North Side in the North Shore neighborhood, which also hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Built in 2001, the stadium replaced Three Rivers Stadium which hosted the Steelers for 31 seasons. Prior to Three Rivers, the Steelers had played their games in Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field.

Pittsburgh Steelers Legends team

The Pittsburgh Steelers Legends team represents the franchise's best players from the pre-1970 era. The team was chosen by a small group of Steeler officials and journalists and presented as a part of the Steelers' 75th season celebration in 2007.

The club presented an updated and expanded All-Time team at the same time, which was determined on the basis of fan voting. The All-Time team represented the top 33 players in the team's first 75 years. However, club officials recognized that since the All-Time team was selected by fans who had a natural bias toward choosing more recent players — due both to the team's struggles prior to the 1970s and because many fans never saw the older players perform — many noteworthy players from the team's first four decades would be overlooked. The Legends team was created to address this oversight.Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney summed up the sentiment to create the Legends team thus: "There were a lot of great Steelers prior to 1970 who were as good as today's superstars, but fewer people got to see them play. We are looking forward to welcoming the Legends Team and having today's fans see some of the great Steelers from the pre-1970 era."The eight-person selection committee that named the Legends team included Dan Rooney, Steelers Vice President Art Rooney Jr., team scout Bill Nunn, former long-time coach Dick Hoak, long-time Steelers broadcaster Myron Cope, former sports editor of the Pittsburgh Press Roy McHugh, and former team officials Joe Gordon and Ed Kiely. This panel chose the top 24 players in the club's pre-1970 history: eleven on offense, eleven on defense, one punter and one placekicker.

Rooney Prize for Irish Literature

The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature was created in 1976 by the Irish American businessman Dan Rooney, owner and chairman of the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers franchise and former US Ambassador to Ireland. The prize is awarded to Irish writers aged under 40 who are published in Irish or English. Although often associated with individual books, it is intended to reward a body of work. Originally worth £750, the current value of the prize is €10,000.

Rooney family

The Rooney family is an Irish-American family which, after emigrating from Ireland in the 1840s, established its American roots in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the 1880s, and is known for its connections to the sports, acting, and political fields.

They are primarily known for having been the majority owners and operators of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) since the formation of the franchise in 1933.

Art Rooney was the founder and owner of the team until his death in 1988. Following his death, ownership of the franchise transferred to his oldest son, Dan Rooney, a former United States Ambassador to Ireland. In recent years, front office operations have passed from Dan Rooney to his son and current team president, Art Rooney II.

The family members who have had the most influence in the Steelers organization are:

Art Rooney: team founder

Dan Rooney: former team chairman

Art Rooney II: current team president

Envoy Extraordinary and
Minister Plenipotentiary
Ambassador Extraordinary
and Plenipotentiary

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