NEW YORK (AP) _ George Young, who turned the floundering New York Giants into a two-time Super Bowl winner and was one of the NFL's top executives for more than two decades, died Saturday night after a short illness. He was 71.

Young left the Giants after 19 years following the 1997 season and became the NFL's executive vice-president for football operations. He died in Baltimore, where he was born and where he began his NFL career in 1969 with the then-Baltimore Colts after teaching history and coaching high school football.

``He was in essence a teacher, both in the history class and in football who helped people at all levels,'' said commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who spent Thursday and Friday with Young in Baltimore.

``No one cared more about the game of football than George Young. He loved it and lived it for his entire life. His contributions place him in the rare company with the legends of the game.''