Ann Mara, the matriarch of the Mara family and mother of current Giants CEO John Mara, passed away early on Super Bowl Sunday at the age of 85. Born on June 18, 1929 in New York City, the matriarch of one of the NFL’s most prominent families would marry into the family when she was wedded to Wellington Mara in 1954.
“I am sad to say that our mother has passed away,” said Giants CEO and John Mara, Ann Mara’s eldest son. “She has been the leader of our family in every way, and we will miss her dearly.”
Giants fans will likely most remember Ann Mara during the team’s 2011 Super Bowl run where she interrupted Terry Bradshaw’s NFC championship presentation to pick on him for never picking the Giants to win, an immensely popular move that showed her passion matched that of the Mara men who had Giants football running in their veins.
She would rarely ever miss a Giants football game and she further showed her commitment when she attended Super Bowl XLVI despite a fall that had her put in a sling. That level of passion for Giants football remained even this past season, when John Mara admitted that his mother suffered from the 6-10 disappointing 2014 campaign “probably even more so than I do.”
Her commitment and love for the Giants organization was as passionate as it was unwavering, but her legacy outreaches much further than her ties to Big Blue. Mara was a mother to eleven, including prominent Giants executives John, Chris (Senior VP of Player Evaluation) and Frank (VP of Community Relations) as well as a grandmother to 43, including famous Hollywood actresses Kata and Rooney Mara.
Ann Mara was a devout catholic and dedicated much of her life to bettering the lives of others. She often donated money to efforts working towards the betterment of children, including educational organizations such as Covenant of the Sacred Heart, Inner City Scholarship Fund, Boys Hope Girls Hope and Life Athletes. Just last year Ann Mara was awarded the Paul J. Tagliabue Award of Excellence for demonstrating integrity and leadership in career development opportunities for minority candidates and for promoting diversity at the league and club level.
The impact of Mara’s legacy will live on forever not just in the hearts of Giants fans, but in the love she had for her family and for all of humankind.