With more than 25 years experience in the field of sports management and real estate development and operations, Denise DeBartolo York serves as chairman of the DeBartolo Corporation. Headed by Denise, the corporation is ranked in the top 50 of Working Woman’s Top 500 Women-owned businesses in the country.
When her corporation owned the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL (1981-1991), Denise was one of only a few female executives in the league. She was team president when the Penguins won their first Stanley Cup title in 1991. In three seasons as the Penguin’s president, DeBartolo York helped them post a 113-106-21 record and qualify for the playoffs twice.
Former owner and current co-chair of the San Francisco 49ers, Denise (together with her husband) was intregal in implementing the “Pier 27 to 31” project in San Francisco, bringing affordable recreational activities on the waterfront for people of the Bay Area. She has also given substantial financial support to many youth organizations, including a large donation to the Police Athletic League’s youth center at Hunter’s Point.
In 2000, DeBartolo York and her husband, retired pathologist, John York gained control of the 49ers and other sporting assets from her brother, Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. She and her husband have since given over control of the 49ers to their son Jed.
DeBartolo York was inducted to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.