Steinbrenner, known for his domineering nature in real life, was intimidating on the small screen too. The audience saw just the back of the fictional Steinbrenner's perfectly groomed silver hair as he sat in a plush office.
"Chaos does not work for the New York Yankees, not as long as I'm running the show!" yelled David, voicing the Steinbrenner character on a "Seinfeld" episode.
The real Steinbrenner, 80, died this morning in Tampa, Florida, from a heart attack. The son of a shipping magnate, Steinbrenner was born on the Fourth of July. In his younger years, he worked as an assistant football coach at Northwestern and Purdue universities. He eventually turned to business.
Revolutionized Baseball World
He redefined the New York Yankees and changed the sports world when he bought the baseball team in 1973 for just $10 million.
Today the team is worth more than $1.5 billion. Steinbrenner's ferocious desire to win helped lead the Yankees to seven World Series titles, but his ferocious temper led to the hiring and firing of 20 managers in 23 years. One manager, Billy Martin, he hired and fired five times.
"Well, you're damn right it is and if you don't like it, you're fired," Steinbrenner told Yankee manager Billy Martin upon one of his many hirings.
Steinbrenner's overbearing nature intimidated many players, too.
"There were a lot of people that did not want to come to New York because of the way he acted," former Yankees star Dave Winfield said.
Steinbrenner's lavish spending helped make baseball the big money game it is today.
He negotiated a $486 million television contract with Madison Square Garden Network and went on to launch a network exclusively about the Yankees for their 2002 season.
"If you can't make the tough decisions, you can't be the boss," Steinbrenner once said.
He drew the ire of other team owners with his big spending that made the Yankees the first team to have a $200 million payroll. Over the years he has spent millions on to lure big name free agents, from Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson, who helped revive the team in the late 1970s to Alex Rodriguez.
Today, Derek Jeter, who came up through the Yankee system, remembered the legendary man.
"He was more than just an owner," Jeter said. "He was a friend of mine and he'll be missed."
Suspensions and Feuds
Being the boss came with a price. Steinbrenner was suspended from the game twice, once when he was convicted for illegal donations to Richard Nixon in 1974 and once for paying a gambler to dig up dirt on one of his own players.
President Ronald Reagan pardoned Steinbrenner in 1989.
On top of the suspensions, Steinbrenner saw the team through a string of losing seasons in the 1980s.
Famous for his business dealings, Steinbrenner was equally famous for his feuds, including a 14-year feud with Yankees icon Yogi Berra, the catcher on the legendary teams of the 1950s who was a 15-time All-Star.