Denise DeBartolo York's father was construction and shopping mall magnate Edward J. Bartolo Sr., who was the undisputed leader in the shopping mall industry since it’s conception and was on the Forbes400 list as early as 1983.
Denise joined the family business—the DeBartolo Corp, soon after graduating and quickly became its EVP. After Edward died in 1994, Denise became the DeBartolo Corp’s co-chairman and sold all 78 malls that the company currently owned. As the owner and president of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team, Denise helped the team win their first Stanley Cup in 1990, only to sell the team a year later in order to help her family corporation.
Since 2000, however, Denise and her husband have had control over the San Francisco 49ers. The two very recently handed over the reins of the team to their son, Jed, but not before building a new $1.2B stadium in Santa Clara and seeing the team have a 69% jump in value—the biggest one-year gain for any football team.