New York Giants football matriarch Ann Mara dies at 85

Sun Feb 1, 2015 3:16pm EST
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By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ann Mara, matriarch of the National Football League's New York Giants franchise, died at age 85 from complications from a head injury after she slipped on ice, her family said on Sunday.

Mara, together with her 11 children, inherited a 50 percent interest in the Giants when her husband, Wellington, died a decade ago at age 89.

In 1925, Tim Mara, Wellington's father, purchased the Giants, now one of the oldest and most storied teams in the NFL, for $500.

"She has been the leader of our family in every way, and we will miss her dearly," her oldest son, John Mara, the franchise's president and chief executive, said in a statement.

The announcement came on Super Bowl Sunday, the day when the NFL stages its championship game. The Giants have won four Super Bowls over the years, as well as four more NFL championships before the Super Bowl era began in 1967.

The Mara family were the sole owners of the franchise until 1991, when Bob Tisch bought half of the Giants. Tisch passed away in 2005, three weeks after the death of his partner, Wellington Mara.

Tisch's son, Steve, now serves as chairman and executive vice president of the franchise.

For 60 years, Ann Mara attended nearly every Giants game, home and away, the team said.   Continued...

New York Giants owners Steve Tisch (R) and John Mara (L) celebrate their team's win with Mara's mother Ann Mara at the end of the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game in Indianapolis, Indiana, February 5, 2012. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan