Tony York, the second oldest son of John York and Denise DeBartolo York, owners of the San Francisco 49ers, has died at the age of 35. York’s tragic passing, on December 7, was announced in an official statement on the 49ers website. The release read, “With deep sadness, we mourn the passing of our beloved son and brother, Tony. Although our hearts are quite heavy at this time, we have so many special memories shared with him to carry us forward. Tony will forever be remembered as a bright, spirited entrepreneur with an unmatched passion to serve others who could brighten a room with his personality and sense of humor. Tony, we love you.”
The statement refers to York as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He was a graduate of Tulane University and a resident of Sausalito, on the outskirts of San Francisco. York founded KODA, a company that helped young people find jobs upon graduating. The press release announcing his passing said that York had been inspired to set up the company after seeing the devastation that Hurrican Katrina caused in New Orleans in 2005 while he was a senior at Tulane. In addition, York was known for his work with incarcerated youths and the 49ers Foundation.
Koda was featured in the book, “Start It Up: The Complete Teen Business Guide to Turning Your Passions Into Pay.” York’s KODA co-founder is quoted in the book as saying the pair were inspired to set up their business after they “realized that our generation was lost when it came to finding a job after graduation.” The pair were 22 when they set up the business. It was widely reported that KODA received $3 million in angel investment in 2009.
York is survived by his parents, his older brother Jed and his wife, Danielle, his twin sisters, Jenna and Mara as well as his nephews Jaxon Brixton.
A September 2000 feature on the York family in the San Francisco Chronicle details that that York was a halfback and linebacker for Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio. The statement announcing York’s death says that York earned letters in baseball and football in high school. The tribute goes on to say that York’s “calling cards were his infectious sense of humor and his kindness.” The Chronicle article, which was written while all of the York children were teenagers, described their home in Youngstown as “palatial” with a gate that sat on 129 acres.
Source: Heavy Sports