|Born||June 13, 1959 (age 55)
Lincolnwood, Illinois, United States
Hungarian Jewish father
|Education||Southern Methodist University|
|Known for||owner of the Indianapolis Colts|
|Net worth|| US $ 1.6 billion (est.)
|Spouse(s)||Meg Coyle (1980-2013, divorced)|
Early life and education
Irsay was born in Lincolnwood, Illinois, the son of Harriet (née Pogorzelski) and Chicago businessman Robert Irsay. His father was from a Hungarian Jewish family and his mother was the daughter of Polish Catholic immigrants. Irsay was raised Catholic, and did not know about his father's Jewish heritage until he was fourteen. Jim's brother, Robert, was born with a mental disability and died in 1999, and his sister, Roberta, died in a car accident in 1971. Irsay attended high school at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois a suburb just north of Chicago, Illinois and at Mercersburg Academy '78, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. After high school he attended, and graduated from, Southern Methodist University in 1982 with a degree in broadcast journalism. Irsay played linebacker for the SMU Mustangs football team as a walk-on, but an ankle injury ended his playing career.
Irsay was 12 years old when his father, Robert Irsay, purchased the Baltimore Colts. After graduating from SMU in 1982 he joined the Colts' professional staff. He was named Vice President and General Manager in 1984, one month after the Colts relocated from Baltimore, to Indianapolis. After his father suffered a stroke in 1995 Jim assumed day-to-day management with the role of Senior Executive Vice President, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer in April 1996. When his father died in 1997 Jim engaged in a legal battle with his stepmother over ownership of the team, but later became the youngest NFL team owner at that time at 37. He controls 100% of the franchise.
Irsay has a habit of quoting rock music. It is rumored that he brings his guitar on Colts road trips and plays until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. In 2001 Irsay purchased the original manuscript of On The Road, or "the scroll": a continuous, one hundred twenty-foot scroll of tracing paper sheets that Jack Kerouac cut to size and taped together, for $2.43 million. Irsay is a big fan of British rock band The Who. Irsay also has purchased guitars originally owned by Elvis Presley, George Harrison, and Jerry Garcia.
In 2009 Irsay was vocal about preventing a group that included talk-show host Rush Limbaugh from purchasing the St. Louis Rams. "I, myself, couldn't even consider voting for him," Irsay said at an NFL owners meeting. "When there are comments that have been made that are inappropriate, incendiary and insensitive... our words do damage, and it's something we don't need." Irsay has made political contributions to John Edwards and Harry Reid.
On March 16, 2014, Irsay was arrested under suspicion of DUI and drug possession in Carmel, Indiana. According to Indianapolis Star sports columnist, Bob Kravitz, he has had an ongoing drug problem. Irsay's daughter, Carlie, took over the day-to-day operations of the Colts while he was in rehab.
On September 2, 2014, shortly after pleading guilty to OWI and being sentenced to one year of probation, Irsay was suspended by the NFL for six games and fined $500,000.
- Forbes: The World's Billionaires - James Irsay March 2014
- O'Neill, John R. (1997-01-15). "Robert Irsay obituary". .indystar.com. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
- "Now You See Him, Now You Don't". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com.
- "The Colts' Jewish roots - Israel Culture, Ynetnews". Ynetnews.com. 1995-06-20. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
- "Mother of Colts owner dies at age 87". Usatoday.Com. 2008-07-12. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
- Jon, Anderson. "JIM IRSAY". Retrieved 2011-07-28.
- Chappell, Mike. "Wife of Colts owner Jim Irsay files for divorce". Retrieved 2014-09-04.
- "Colts owner says he's against Rush Limbaugh buying Rams - latimes.com". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
- Brown, Kristen. "Jim Irsay arrested in Carmel". WISHTV.com. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
- "Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts owner, arrested on suspected DWI - ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
- 9:54 p.m. EDT March 17, 2014. "Kravitz: Jim Irsay fighting for his life, needs help". Indystar.com. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
- Edholm, Eric (March 18, 2014). "Report: Jim Irsay's daughter, Carlie, to take over Colts' day-to-day operations". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
|Indianapolis Colts principal owner