Canadian-born Joseph J. Lannin moved to Boston in pursuit of a career and became a self-made hotel and real estate tycoon, from humble beginnings as a hotel doorman. An avid baseball fan, Lannin held a minority stake in the Boston Braves before he purchased a 50% controlling interest in the Red Sox from James R. McAleer in November 1913. In early 1914, Lannin became the sole owner of the club when he purchased the remaining interests of the organization from John I. Taylor and the Taylor family, which included ownership of Fenway Park and the land upon which the ballpark resided.
In July 1914, Lannin was instrumental in securing the rights of a young lefty pitcher from the minor league Baltimore Orioles named George Herman Ruth, popularly nicknamed Babe by his teammates. With Ruth rounding out the pitching staff, the Red Sox had spectacular seasons in 1915 and 1916, winning the World Series both years. During the 1916 season, Lannin also introduced "Ladies Day at Fenway Park" with special pricing, turnstiles and a reception room for female patrons. Lannin sold the team to Broadway theatrical agent, producer and director Harry H. Frazee on November 1, 1916, using the proceeds to invest in other real estate ventures including Roosevelt Field in New York, whence Charles Lindbergh departed for his historic transatlantic flight.