The New York Giants have announced that Ann Mara has passed away at the age of 85. Ann Mara and her children owned 50 percent of the Giants since the death of her husband, Wellington Mara, at age 89 in 2005.
Mara was often referred to as the matriarch of the New York Giants and “The First Lady of Football.”
“I am sad to say that our mother has passed away,” said John Mara, Ann’s son and the team’s president and chief executive officer. “She has been the leader of our family in every way, and we will miss her dearly.
“She slipped in front of her home during the ice storm two weeks ago (on January 18). She had been in the hospital since the following day, initially due to a head injury she suffered in her fall. After a few days, we were hopeful for her recovery, although we knew it would be a long road back. Unfortunately, there were complications.
“She loved her family, and all of us were able to spend time with her in these final days. All 11 of her children and our spouses and numerous grandchildren were with her when she passed away.”
Ann and Wellington were married in 1954. Their family eventually grew to include 11 children, 43 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. In addition to John Mara, two other sons work for the team, including Senior Vice President of Player Evaluation Chris Mara and Vice President of Community Relations Frank Mara.
The other half of the New York Giants is owned by the Tisch family, who bought their half of the team in 1991 from Wellington Mara’s nephew Tim Mara.
“On behalf of my mother and sister and brother, I want to express our sympathy to John and the Mara family,” team Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch said. “Ann Mara has been the wonderful matriarch of our franchise. Like her husband Wellington, Ann was passionate about her faith, her family and her football team. Her energy and enthusiasm for her franchise were unmatched. We will miss her and are deeply saddened for the Mara family’s loss.”
“Mrs. Mara was a tower of strength, dignity and inspiration for her family and all of us in the NFL,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “Her family and the Giants organization have always reflected Mrs. Mara’s competitive spirit, integrity, and wonderful sense of humor. Our thoughts and prayers are with John Mara and the entire Mara family.”
For more on Ann Mara’s life, see Ann Mara, New York Giants’ Matriarch, 1929-2015 by Michael Eisen at Giants.com.