John York life and biography

John York picture, image, poster

John York biography

Date of birth : 1949-04-18
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Muskogee, Oklahoma
Nationality : American
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2010-10-18
Credited as : Pathologist, co-chairman of the San Francisco 49ers,

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John C. York (born April 18, 1949) is an American retired cancer research pathologist, married to Marie Denise DeBartolo York, and co-owner and co-chairman of the San Francisco 49ers. The Yorks have four children: sons Jed and Tony, and daughters Jenna and Mara.

Denise and John York bring long and distinguished careers in sports and business to their roles as Co-Chairmen of the San Francisco 49ers, where they combine their passion for building a championship team with their commitment to being the best possible business partners and community citizens.


Since Denise’s father, Edward DeBartolo Sr., purchased the 49ers in 1977, she has been an integral part of more than three decades of 49ers football, including 36 playoff contests and five Super Bowl victories. Earlier in her career, Denise served as President of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team. Under her leadership, the Penguins were revitalized and transformed into a championship team winning the Stanley Cup.

A successful entrepreneur, John spent years as Senior Vice President/Director of Racing Operations for the DeBartolo Corporation, instituting programs designed to enhance the fan experience and raise the profile of thoroughbred horse racing. John, a noted pathologist, began his business career in 1982 as founder of DeYor Laboratories in Youngstown, Ohio. From three employees, he molded the company into a 500-person operation with facilities in three states before selling the company to Corning, Inc. in 1993.

As owners of the 49ers, Denise and John provide the resources and guidance to uphold the 49ers celebrated history and oversee the team’s relationship with the Commissioner of the National Football League and other team owners.


Denise and John’s dedication to the sport of football extends to the top levels of the NFL.
Denise is an active member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Committee, where she helps to oversee the League’s ongoing support of the museum that pays tribute to the triumphs of pro football’s greatest stars, including 14 legendary members of the San Francisco 49ers.

John is Chairman of the NFL’s International Committee. Under his leadership, the 49ers became the first team to play a regular season game outside the boarders of the United States, taking on the Arizona Cardinals in front of 100,000 fans at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Under John’s direction, the League has expanded its presence abroad with regular season games the past two years as Wembley Stadium in London, England. For the 2010 season, the 49ers will be hosting the Denver Broncos in London, England. John also sits on the League’s Audit and Business Ventures Committees, which help to ensure the NFL’s standing as the preeminent brand in all of professional sports.


Denise and John have played a pivotal role in reaching out to former players and coaches to help celebrate six monumental decades of 49ers football. Over the past decade, Denise and John have brought back every Hall of Fame enshrinee from the 49ers to be honored at Candlestick Park for their tremendous contributions to Bay Area sports. Under their guidance, the team enhanced its annual alumni weekend event to give all players who have donned the red and gold throughout the team’s history a chance to catch up with old friends. As part of the event, the former players are recognized on the field during a half-time celebration at Candlestick Park, where so many of them made their mark on history. They have also worked with players like Joe Montana, Steve Young and Dwight Clark, and the members of the 1981 49ers defense to re-enact and commemorate some of the team’s most famous plays such as “The Catch” and the goal line stand that propelled the team to its first Super Bowl victory.


Denise and John are dedicated to embracing the passion of 49ers fans everywhere. They are committed to giving fans an opportunity to experience the excitement of 49ers football year-round. From the team’s annual Winter Fundraiser in Lake Tahoe charity event each winter, to its Draft Day celebration in Santa Clara each spring, to Family Day at Candlestick Park each summer, they have made it their mission to embrace the fans as family.

In their efforts to extend the interaction between the fans and the players and coaches, Denise and John have opened a portion of the team’s training camp to the public since 2005, giving more than 100,000 49ers fans the opportunity to meet the team before the first snap of the football season.

On game days, they have spearheaded the effort to create a great atmosphere for fans by making significant enhancements to Candlestick Park, from the creation of the Alumni Tailgate Party and Faithful City, to improvements inside the stadium such as new flat screen TVs, new escalators and remodeled restrooms.

They’ve also provided new opportunities for fans to participate in the excitement of 49ers football by giving local musicians the opportunity to sing the national anthem in front of 68,000 fans at the ‘Stick, and providing opportunities to local talent to participate in half-time events on the field.


Under the leadership of Denise and John, the team’s community outreach programs and 49ers Foundation have grown tremendously.

Last year, 49ers players, coaches, staff and alumni participated in community events throughout the Bay Area as part of the team’s award-winning RESPECT community outreach program. The 49ers Foundation has also grown tremendously, from raising and donating $200,000 per year to Bay Area non-profit organizations, to a record $1.7 million in 2008, bringing the total to more than $10 million over the last eight years.

In recognition of their community involvement, the couple was recently honored as City Year’s Service Leadership Award recipient for their work in the Bay Area community. In 2008, the couple were honored with the 2008 Silicon Valley Exemplary Community Leadership Award by Silicon Valley FACES, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting bias and racism in the South Bay Area. In 2005, Denise and John were honored with the Outstanding Corporate Philanthropy Award at the Catholic Charities/Catholic Youth Organization’s Loaves & Fishes Dinner for their remarkable contributions to the San Francisco community.

The couple’s passion for community involvement extends beyond the Bay Area as well. John was recently honored with the Loyola University’s Strich Medal - the highest honor awarded by the school - for his ongoing contributions to his alma mater. In 2008, Denise and John were honored with the Youngstown Hearing & Speech Center’s 2008 Great Communicators Award in recognition of their philanthropic leadership. They were also inducted into the Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame in Boardman, Ohio, in 2007 for generously giving their time and resources to the Mahoning Valley community.


Though Denise and John have accomplished much in their professional careers, they first define themselves as husband, wife and parents.

Their eldest son, Jed, now carries on the family’s legacy begun by his grandfather Edward DeBartolo Sr., his Uncle Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and his parents, by serving as President of the 49ers. Their son, Tony, is currently an entrepreneur in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley, and twins Jenna and Mara are pursuing careers in oenology in the Napa Valley.

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