Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, the son of Steelers founding owner Art Rooney, died Thursday at age 84.
Rooney took over control of the franchise from his father in 1975 before handing the reigns to his son, Art II, in 2002. He also served as an ambassador to Ireland from 2009 to 2012.
Rooney was well respected by his players and his passing elicited emotional reactions from many current and former Steelers. “Your spirit will live forever,” former head coach Bill Cowher wrote.
Many credited him with giving them a chance to succeed in the NFL, while others noted that Rooney always showed he cared about the players’ off-field lives.
The Steelers won six Super Bowls during Rooney’s time as an executive.