Who owns the 49ers?

by / ⠀Who Owns / December 8, 2023
Who owns the 49ers

Who owns the 49ers? The San Francisco 49ers, an NFL team based in the San Francisco Bay Area, are currently owned by the York family. The principal owner is Denise DeBartolo York, who inherited the team from her brother, Edward DeBartolo Jr., in 2000. Denise’s husband, Dr. John York, is the co-chairman, and their son, Jed York, serves as the CEO and team president. The ownership structure consists of a combination of family members and other investors with varying stake percentages. The York family controls the majority interest in the team, overseeing its operations and making significant decisions related to the franchise’s management and direction.

Company History

The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team based in San Francisco, California. They compete in the National Football League (NFL), and are a part of the league’s NFC West division. The team was founded in 1946 as part of the All-America Football Conference before joining the NFL in 1949 when the leagues merged. Over the years, the ownership of the 49ers has changed hands several times, with the following key milestones in the team’s ownership history:

1. Tony Morabito and Vic Morabito (1946-1964):

The San Francisco 49ers were founded by brothers Tony and Vic Morabito in 1946. The Morabitos ran the team successfully until Tony’s death in 1957. At that point, Vic assumed full control of the team.

2. Josephine Morabito and Elizabeth Morabito (1964-1977):

After Vic Morabito’s death in 1964, the team ownership was passed onto his widow, Josephine Morabito, and his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Morabito. They became the first female owners in the NFL but encountered financial difficulties, eventually leading to a new majority ownership change in 1977.

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3. Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. (1977-1977):

In 1977, real estate magnate Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. purchased the majority ownership stake in the 49ers. However, DeBartolo Sr. immediately transferred the team to his son Edward DeBartolo Jr.

4. Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. (1977-2000):

Under the ownership of Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., the 49ers experienced their most successful period, winning five Super Bowl championships in 1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, and 1994. The team became a dominant force in the NFL during this time. However, in 1998, DeBartolo Jr. became involved in a legal controversy, and later guilty to a felony, leading to a one-year suspension by the NFL and an eventual ownership change.

5. Denise DeBartolo-York and John York (2000-present):

In 2000, DeBartolo Jr. officially transferred the majority ownership of the team to his sister, Denise DeBartolo-York, and her husband, John York. The Yorks have retained ownership since then, with their son, Jed York, assuming the role of CEO in 2008 and becoming the face of the 49ers management.

In summary, the ownership of the San Francisco 49ers has changed several times since the team’s inception, with the Morabito family founding the team, followed by the tumultuous period of female ownership and then a highly successful era under Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. The team is now under the ownership of the York family, who continue to manage and operate the 49ers.

Who was the original founder?

The San Francisco 49ers were founded by Anthony J. “Tony” Morabito and his brother Victor Morabito in 1944. Tony Morabito was born on January 10, 1910, in San Francisco, California. He grew up in a working-class Italian-American family, and his father operated a hauling business. Tony Morabito started working in the family business at a young age and became interested in athletics while a student at San Francisco’s Mission High School. After high school, Tony took over the family’s lumber hauling business when his father fell ill.

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Tony expanded the business into a multi-million dollar enterprise by obtaining contracts with various lumber yards. He also established connections with several influential individuals in the Bay Area, which eventually led to the founding of the San Francisco 49ers. Tony Morabito’s fascination with football began when he attended the University of San Francisco, playing as a halfback on their team. He later traveled to Chicago, where he studied football and was inspired to bring a professional football team to the West Coast. In the early 1940s, he contacted the All-American Football Conference (AAFC), seeking to establish a professional football team in San Francisco. The Morabito brothers were awarded the franchise in 1944, and the San Francisco 49ers first took the field in the AAFC in 1946.

The team joined the NFL in 1950, when the AAFC dissolved. As an owner, Tony Morabito was known for being fiercely dedicated to his team. His passion and vision for the 49ers helped develop the team into a successful franchise. Unfortunately, Tony Morabito passed away suddenly in 1957 from a heart attack. His wife, Josephine Morabito, and brother Victor took over the team’s ownership until 1977 when Edward DeBartolo Jr. purchased the team.

FAQs: Who Owns the 49ers

1. Who is the current owner of the San Francisco 49ers?

The current owner of the San Francisco 49ers is Jed York, who took over the role from his parents, John York and Denise DeBartolo York, in 2008.

2. What is the role of the DeBartolo family in the ownership of the 49ers?

Denise DeBartolo York is the sister of former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., and she is also the co-chair of the team. The DeBartolo family has a long history with the 49ers organization, dating back to when Eddie DeBartolo Jr. purchased the team in 1977.

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3. When did Jed York become the CEO of the 49ers?

Jed York officially took over as CEO of the San Francisco 49ers in 2008, after the retirement of his father, John York.

4. How successful has the team been under the ownership of the York family?

Under the ownership of the York family, the San Francisco 49ers have made several playoff appearances, including a Super Bowl appearance in 2012. However, the team has not won a Super Bowl title since 1994, when it was under the ownership of Eddie DeBartolo Jr.

5. Who were the previous owners of the San Francisco 49ers before the DeBartolo family?

Before the DeBartolo family’s ownership, the San Francisco 49ers were owned by the founding owners, Anthony J. Morabito, Victor P. Morabito, and their widows. The team was founded in 1946, and ownership changed hands after the death of Victor Morabito (1964) and Anthony Morabito’s widow (1977).

Sources for More Information


Featured image provided by Jean-Daniel Francoeur; Pexels; Thanks!

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