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Dan Topping

Daniel Reid Topping (June 11, 1912 – May 18, 1974) was a part owner and president of the New York Yankees baseball team from 1945 to 1964. Daniel Reid Topping was the son of Rhea Reid and Henry J. Topping. Rhea Reid, the daughter of Daniel G. Reid, known as the "Tinplate King" for his vast wealth in the tin industry, was the mother of three sons, Daniel Reid Topping, Henry J. Topping (1914), and John Reid Topping (1921). Daniel Topping, along with Del Webb and Larry MacPhail, purchased the Yankees for $2.8 million from the estate of the late Jacob Ruppert on January 25, 1945. MacPhail sold his share of the team to Topping and Webb in 1947, and the two sold controlling interest in the team to CBS in 1964, after which Topping remained as team president until 1966, when he sold his remaining stake in the Yankees.

The exedra tombstone of Dan Topping in Woodlawn Cemetery

Topping also was co-owner, along with John Simms Kelly, of the National Football League's Brooklyn Dodgers starting in 1931, eventually owning the team outright. By the mid-1940s, Topping wished to move his football team from Ebbets Field into the newer and larger Yankee Stadium. Tim Mara, owner of the New York Giants, who played in the Polo Grounds, held NFL territorial rights, and refused to permit this. Topping moved the team anyway, joining the newly formed All-America Football Conference. Topping's team retained most of its players during the jump and became the football New York Yankees. The team was not one of the AAFC teams admitted to the NFL in 1950, and folded.

Personal life

Topping was married six times. His first marriage was to heiress Theodora Boettger. His second was to actress Arline Judge, who went on to marry his brother Henry, and lasted from 1937-1940. He was married to three-time Olympic figure skating gold medalist Sonja Henie from 1940 to 1946. His fourth marriage was to actress Kay Sutton in 1946. From 1954-1958, he was married to Manhattan model Alice Lowthers.[1] His final marriage was to Charlotte Lillard which lasted from 1957 until his death.

Topping fathered nine children, including Dan Topping, Jr. former General Manager of the Yankees, Rhea Topping a fly fisher,[2] and Leigh Topping, daughter-in-law of future United States Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas F. Brady.

He died of complications from a lung ailment in Miami Beach, Florida on May 18, 1974, at age 61 (less than a month from his 62nd birthday).

See also


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  2. ^
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jacob Ruppert Estate
Owner of the New York Yankees
with Del Webb and Larry MacPhail 1945-1947
with Del Webb 1947-1964
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Larry MacPhail
New York Yankees President
Succeeded by
Mike Burke
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