Georgia Frontiere, the woman who took over ownership of the then-Los Angeles Rams in 1979 and moved the National Football League team to Anaheim and then St. Louis, died Friday at a Los Angeles hospital of breast cancer. She was 80.
According to a statement from the team, Frontiere had been hospitalized for several months.
The St. Louis native inherited the team when her husband, Carroll Rosenbloom, died mysteriously while swimming off the coast of Florida.
She eventually moved the team out of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and into the much-smaller Anaheim Stadium. But with attendance sagging, she moved the franchise to her hometown of St. Louis in 1995.
“Our mom was a beautiful person who lived an extraordinary life,” read a statement from her daughter, Lucia Rodriguez, and son, Chip Rosenbloom.
“She put up a courageous and brave fight. Thanks to her doctors and her spirit we were blessed with more time with her than expected.
“Our mom was dedicated to being more than the owner of a football team. She loved the Rams’ players, coaches and staff. The warmth and generosity she exuded will never be forgotten. She will be missed by those who loved her and will be remembered as a kind and generous person. We will love her forever.”
St. Louis Rams president John Shaw called Frontiere’s death “an enormous loss for me and for the Rams’ organization.”
“It’s been my privilege for 28 years to work for a loyal, generous and supportive owner who was totally committed to her football team,” Shaw said.
Frontiere is survived by her two children, six grandchildren and her companion of 19 years, Earle Weatherwax.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be made to the Georgia Frontiere Memorial Fund. Checks should be made payable to The UCLA Foundation and mailed to the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases, 100 Medical Plaza, suite 265, Los Angeles, 90095.
Donations can also be made online at https://giving.ucla.edu/GeorgiaFrontiereMemorialFund.