Ann Mara, who spent six decades as an influential figure on the New York Giants, has died at the age of 85.
Mara, who married the late Giants owner Wellington Mara in 1954, passed away early this morning after spending the last two weeks in the hospital.
“I am sad to say that our mother has passed away,” Giants President and CEO John Mara said in a statement. “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. 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 Mara used to talk about how she embraced the sports that her husband loved, although she was also a Giants fan before she met Wellington.
“Our dates were at Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden and the Fordham gymnasium. That was my courtship,” she said.
Although her husband and her son were more directly involved in the team’s football operations, Ann Mara took a strong interest in the welfare of the team. Just weeks ago, at the Giants’ end-of-year press conference, John Mara said his mom gets frustrated when the Giants miss the playoffs “probably even more so than I do.”
The Giants will miss that passion, and the NFL will miss one of its most influential women.