RYE, N.Y. – Ann Mara, the matriarch of the New York Giants' founding family, died early Sunday morning after a recent fall in front of her Rye home, the New York Giants announced. She was 85. “I am sad to say that our mother has passed away,” John Mara, Ann’s son and the Giants’ president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “She has been the leader of our family in every way, and we will miss her dearly. Mara slipped in front of her Rye home during the ice storm Jan. 18. She had been in the hospital since the following day, initially due to a head injury she suffered in her fall, John Mara said.
"After a few days, we were hopeful for her recovery, although we knew it would be a long road back," he said. "Unfortunately, there were complications." All 11 of her children and their spouses and numerous grandchildren were with her when she died, Mara's statement said. Ann Mara and her children owned 50 percent of the Giants since the death of her husband, Wellington Mara, at age 89 in 2005.
Ann Mara met Wellington at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan in 1952. She loved to retell the story of their first meeting, according to a New York Giants news release. “At 7:30 Mass, a little old lady fainted, and we both went to help revive her; that’s how we met,” she said. "But I had spotted him before that.” “Our dates were at Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden and the Fordham gymnasium. That was my courtship.” They were married in 1954, and their family eventually grew to four sons and seven daughters, 43 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Three of Wellington and Ann Mara’s sons currently work in the Giants’ front office. In addition to John, Chris is the senior vice president of player evaluation and Frank is the vice president of community relations. Ann Mara liked to say, “I tell John, ‘Just remember, you’re an employee.’” In addition to her intimate involvement with her family and the Giants, Ann Mara was a philanthropist who donated money to numerous causes and organizations. She supported efforts to help children reach their fullest potential by aiding educational organizations such as Convent of the Sacred Heart, Inner City Scholarship Fund, Boys Hope Girls Hope, and Life Athletes. Mara was also there for children with cancer through her support of the Ronald McDonald House of New York. In November, she dedicated the opening of a new building for the San Miguel Academy for children at risk, which was built through the NFL Snowflake Foundation. Last year, three days before MetLife Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLVIII, Ann Mara received the Paul J. Tagliabue Award of Excellence, which is presented to a league or team executive who demonstrates the integrity and leadership Tagliabue exhibited in career development opportunities for minority candidates and advocacy for diversity on the league and club level when he was NFL commissioner. “On behalf of my mother and sister and brother, I want to express our sympathy to John and the Mara family,” 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." Ann Mumm was born in Manhattan on June 18, 1929, the daughter of George and Olive Mumm. As a young woman, she worked for the Jesuit Seminary and Mission Bureau, and was a member of the Church of St. Ignatius on Park Avenue, where she met her future husband.