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Georgia Frontiere (born Violet Frances Irwin) (November 21, 1927 – January 18, 2008), sometimes referred to as Madame Ram, was the co-owner and chairwoman of the St. Louis Rams from 1979 to 2008.

Biography

Early life

She was born in St. Louis, Missourimarker, and grew up in a middle-class home, the daughter of an insurance salesman and entertainer Lucia Pamela. When she was 15 years old, her parents divorced and a shaken Frontiere eloped with her boyfriend, a U.S. Marine who died in World War II .

Career

After going to college at Pepperdine Universitymarker for business and working for several years as a secretary, Frontiere decided that she wanted to enter show business. She moved to Los Angelesmarker and later Miamimarker, where she worked as a dancer, a singer, a weather forecaster, and in various other jobs.

In 1957, Frontiere, a well-known Miami dancer, began running with an elite crowd. It was Joseph P. Kennedy, father of future president John F. Kennedy, who introduced Frontiere to Carroll Rosenbloom, NFL owner and millionaire uniforms manufacturer. Their marriage was her sixth.

Rams Owner

Frontiere inherited ownership of the team, then based in Anaheim, Californiamarker, in 1979 after the death of her husband. Rosenbloom, an avid ocean swimmer, died mysteriously in the Atlantic. Although no evidence of foul play was uncovered it is rumored that Rosenbloom, a high-stakes gambler, was killed over failure to repay debts. The PBS series Frontline investigated the story and reported mafia involvement. Two months after Rosenbloom's death, Georgia married the musician and Hollywood composer Dominic Frontiere and became Georgia Frontiere. They divorced in 1988.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Frontiere moved the Rams to St. Louis. The city of St. Louismarker provided a publicly funded stadium for $260 million, and more than $22 million was guaranteed in annual luxury-suite and ticket revenues. In the 1999 season, under head coach Dick Vermeil and MVP quarterback Kurt Warner, the Rams beat the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.

Later years

In 2004, Frontiere was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died, aged 80, on January 18, 2008 at UCLA Medical Centermarker.

References

  1. Zimmerman, Paul. "L.A. Goes Marching Behind Georgia," Sports Illustrated, August 13, 1979.


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