Chicago White Sox vice chairman Eddie Einhorn died Tuesday night, the team announced. He died in New Jersey from complications following a stroke, his wife Ann told NorthJersey.com. He was 80.
Einhorn was a White Sox executive for 35 seasons and previously served as the team's president and chief operating officer. He worked as a vendor for the team at Comiskey Park in 1959-60.
White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement, "Eddie was a creative whirlwind whose ideas -- many of them far ahead of their time -- changed the landscape of sports, and sports on television, forever. He was a man of many interests, projects, ideas and opinions, and we all will miss him dearly. It is exceedingly rare in this day and age to have enjoyed a friendship and a working partnership that lasted our lifetimes. We celebrated many great moments together."
Under Einhorn's and Reinsdorf's ownership, the club won its first title in 88 years when it defeated the Astros in the 2005 World Series.
Einhorn was a major force in sports broadcasting. He founded TVS, a television network that broadcast college basketball games. In 1968, TVS televised a prime-time game between defending national champion UCLA and Houston, billing it as the "Game of the Century." Houston, led by Elvin Hays, defeated UCLA, led by Lew Alcindor (now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) 71-69. The Bruins' 47-game winning streak came to an end and the telecast grew the sport's popularity.
Einhorn was a key player in baseball's first billion-dollar television deal, which began in 1990 with ESPN and CBS.
"All of us at Major League Baseball are deeply saddened by the loss of White Sox Vice Chairman Eddie Einhorn, a leader in the world of sports and broadcasting," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "He was a sports television pioneer and a huge champion of youth baseball. In recent years, he bridged those twin passions through the National Youth Baseball Championships, which appeared on MLB Network and MLB.com,"
Einhorn was also a member of the Chicago Bulls' board of directors.
A funeral will be held Sunday in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.