Edward DeBartolo, Jr. came to the Bay Area when he purchased the San Francisco 49ers from the Morabito family in 1977. Everything took off in 1979, when Eddie hired Bill Walsh as his coach and brought in great players such as Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, and Roger Craig. With Walsh establishing the “West Coast Offense,” the team won five Super Bowl Championships in 12 years under DeBartolo’s ownership, a record still unmatched in the National Football League! Die-hard 49er fans had never experienced such euphoria, and the success he brought to them has never been forgotten. As it has been written, “It really was a period of time like Camelot…and greatly impacted sports in the Bay Area.” As well as putting together great football teams, DeBartolo built a reputation as a very caring owner, and the organization became known as a real 49er family. DeBartolo also has been a major contributor and supporter of a great number of Bay Area causes.
Inducted into The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
Plaque location: TBD
Edward DeBartolo, Jr. is the first person to be inducted in the new “Distinguished Achievement” category, which honors off-field performers who have “made an extraordinary impact on the sports history of the Bay Area.” DeBartolo was elected by a special panel of former banquet chairmen, past enshrinees, sports broadcasters and writers.