Steve Ross

The chairman of the company that owned the New York Cosmos through their greatest seasons in the North American Soccer League.

Ross was one of 10 Kinney National executives who purchased an NASL expansion franchise in 1970. Within a few months, they sold the franchise to Kinney National (which was renamed Warner Communications in 1971). Ross was chairman of the board of Warner, and while he did not own the team himself, he dominated it.

Ross became famous for his devotion to the Cosmos, for the harness that was devised to keep him safely in his upper-deck seat during Cosmos games and for his hands-on involvement in the running of the team.

In 1974, he gave the green light for the stepped-up effort to sign superstar forward Pele, an effort that succeeded the following year and led to the subsequent signings of other stars like Giorgio Chinaglia, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto and Vladislav Bogicevic.

Inducted in 2003.