Learn about Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney, including how he made his wealth, his education and more.
ART ROONEY II | PRESIDENT | AGE: 65
Education: University of Pittsburgh
How They Acquired the Franchise: Art inherited control of the team from his father, Dan, in July 2003. There was no announcement when Dan passed the team onto him in 2003; they simply changed the nameson the media guides distributed before training camp. Dan held the position for 28 years before Art II. The Steelers have been in the Rooney family since 1933, when family patriarch Art Rooney started the team by paying the NFL a $2,500 franchise fee.
Net Worth: The entire Rooney family has a net worth of $1.2 billion (per Forbes in 2015)
Franchise Valuation: $2.45 billion (per Forbes in 2017)
How They Made Their Money: The Rooneys have made the majority of their wealth from the team, watching the Steelers appreciate from that $2,500 franchise fee (the equivalent of ~$48K in 2018) to $2.45 billion.
In the Owner’s Words: “Panic doesn’t seem to work; let’s put it that way,” Rooney told reporters before the Super Bowl in 2011. “Enough people seem to have gone through that. Our philosophy is you pick good people and try to stick with them.
“There’s no guarantees. There are ups and downs in any sport. But if you have the people in place, you always have a chance to be successful. That goes back to my grandfather and down to my father.”
Political Donations: Rooney has donated primarily to Democrats, including $10K to the DNC in 2004 and $2,500 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in between ‘04 and ‘08. He’s also donated tens of thousands of dollars to the bi-partisan super PAC North Side Good Government Committee between ‘04 and ‘17.
NFL Committees: Stadium Committee (Chairman), Digital Media Committee, International Committee, Legislative Committee, NFL Foundation Board, Management Council Executive Committee, Health & Safety Advisory Committee, Compensation Committee
Next in Line: The Steelers are a true family business. Art Rooney II is the principal owner of a 19-person group. And of those 18 other members, four are Rooney family members, including Art Rooney Jr., John Rooney, Brian Rooney, and Dan Rooney Jr.