Georgia Frontiere was an author, a businesswoman, a mother, a grandmother, a singer, a dancer, and a philanthropist—a woman who lived life to the fullest.
Frontiere was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Lucia Pamela Irwin, Miss St. Louis of 1926, KMOX radio’s “gal about town,” and the leader of America’s first all-girl orchestra, and Reginald Irwin, an insurance salesman and businessman.
Frontiere had early aspirations to work as an opera singer, eventually travelling to Milan to train with the Milan Opera. By the age of ten, she was performing along with her mother and brother in the singing group the Pamela Trio. The group traveled the state and entertained at ballrooms and state fairs. A few years later, the family moved to Fresno, California, where Frontiere performed at dinner theatres alongside her mother in a duo, the Pamela Sisters.
In the late 1950s, Frontiere moved to Miami and had her own television interview show. Later, she made appearances as part of NBC’s Today show cast. She also performed as a nightclub singer in Miami.
While living in Miami, Frontiere was introduced to the then Baltimore Colts owner, Carroll Rosenbloom, at a party hosted by Joseph Kennedy at his Palm Beach estate in 1957. Frontiere married Rosenbloom, who became her fifth husband, in 1960.
In 1972, Rosenbloom traded ownership of the Baltimore Colts for ownership of the Los Angeles Rams. During this time, the couple resided in Bel Air, California, and Frontiere became a part of the Los Angeles social scene, hosting numerous parties and philanthropic events. Tragically, Rosenbloom died in 1979 in Golden Beach, Florida.
Upon her husband’s passing, Frontiere inherited a majority ownership stake in the Los Angeles Rams. She was often dubbed the first female owner of a National Football League franchise, although the NFL reported that she was actually the second female majority owner. However, during Frontiere’s tenure, she was the only active female majority owner in the NFL.
During her years as owner, Frontiere moved the Rams twice. In 1980 she relocated them from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to Anaheim (a deal Rosenbloom made in 1978). Then she moved the team to St. Louis in 1995.
Throughout her career, Frontiere was devoted to a range of philanthropic causes. In 1991, she made a $1 million donation to the Fulfillment Fund, which provides support systems to help underprivileged students pursue higher education. She was also an outspoken supporter of the NFL Alumni Association. In 1997, she spearheaded the formation of the St. Louis Rams Foundation, which has contributed more than $7 million to charities in the St. Louis area.
Always a patron of the arts, in 2000, Frontiere donated $1 million to help build a 5,500-seat amphitheater, the Frontiere Performing Arts Pavilion, located in the Sedona Cultural Park in Arizona. She also produced the Tony-nominated August Wilson play Radio Golf and Richard Dresser’s Below the Belt.
Frontiere also sat on the boards of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club, St. Louis Symphony, and American Foundation for AIDS Research. She was awarded an honorary doctor of philanthropy from Pepperdine University.