Wellington Mara

Last updated

Wellington Mara
Wellington and Ann Mara 1954.JPG
Mara and his wife, Ann in 1954
Position:Owner/President/General Manager
Personal information
Born:(1916-08-14)August 14, 1916
Rochester, New York
Died:October 25, 2005(2005-10-25) (aged 89)
Rye, New York
Career information
College: Fordham High school= Loyola School
Career history
As executive:
Career highlights and awards
Wellington Mara
AllegianceFlag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States
Service/branchFlag of the United States Navy (1864-1959).svg  United States Navy
Years of service1943–1946
Rank US-O4 insignia.svg Lieutenant commander
Battles/wars World War II

Wellington Timothy Mara (August 14, 1916 – October 25, 2005) was the co-owner of the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL) from 1959 until his death, and one of the most influential and iconic figures in the history of the NFL. He was the younger son of Tim Mara, who founded the Giants in 1925. Wellington was a ball boy for that year.

New York Giants National Football League franchise in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in the New York metropolitan area. The Giants compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. The team plays its home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which it shares with the New York Jets in a unique arrangement. The Giants hold their summer training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.

National Football League Professional American football league

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

Tim Mara American football executive

Timothy James Mara was the founder and administrator of the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). The Giants, under Mara, won NFL championships in 1927, 1934, 1938, and 1956 and divisional titles in 1933, 1935, 1939, 1941, 1944, 1946, and 1958.

Contents

Life and career

Mara was born in Rochester, New York, the son of Elizabeth "Lizette" (née Barclay), a homemaker, and Timothy James Mara. [1] He was of Irish descent. Mara was an alumnus of Loyola School and Fordham University, both New York City Jesuit schools.

Rochester, New York City in New York, United States

Rochester is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in western New York. With a population of 208,046 residents, Rochester is the seat of Monroe County and the third most populous city in New York state, after New York City and Buffalo. The metropolitan area has a population of just over 1 million people. It is about 73 miles (117 km) east of Buffalo and 87 miles (140 km) west of Syracuse.

Alumnus graduate of a school, college, or university

An alumnus or an alumna of a college, university, or other school is a former student who has either attended or graduated in some fashion from the institution. The word is Latin and simply means student. The plural is alumni for men and mixed groups and alumnae for women. The term is not synonymous with "graduate"; one can be an alumnus without graduating. An alumnus can also be and is more recently expanded to include a former employee of an organization and it may also apply to a former member, contributor, or inmate.

Fordham University American university

Fordham University is a private Jesuit research university in New York City. Founded by the Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841, it is the oldest Catholic university in the northeastern United States, the third-oldest university in New York, and the only Jesuit university in New York City.

In 1930, Timothy James Mara split his ownership interests between Wellington (then 14) and his older brother Jack. Soon after graduating from Fordham University, Wellington moved into the Giants' front office as team treasurer and assistant to his father. He became the team's secretary in 1940. After fighting in World War II, he returned to the Giants as team vice president, a post he retained after his father died in 1958. When Jack, who had been president since 1941, died in 1965, Wellington became team president.

John V. "Jack" Mara was a co-owner of the New York Giants, an American football team that plays in the National Football League. Jack was the son of Elizabeth "Lizette" and Tim Mara and brother of Wellington, and served as the team's president for 24 years. He and Wellington inherited the team upon their father's death in 1959.

For his first 37 years in the organization, he handled the franchise's football decisions. However, his growing involvement in league affairs led him to turn over most of his day-to-day responsibilities to operations director Andy Robustelli in 1974. He didn't relinquish full control over the football side of the operation until 1979, when George Young became the team's first general manager.

Andy Robustelli American football player, executive, announcer

Andrew Richard Robustelli was an American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants. He played college football at Arnold College and was drafted in the nineteenth round of the 1951 NFL Draft. Robustelli was a six-time First-team All-pro selection and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

George Bernard Young was an American football player, coach, and executive. He served as the general manager of the New York Giants from 1979 to 1997. He was named NFL Executive of the Year five times.

The Giants were hamstrung for several years by a strained relationship between Wellington and his nephew, Tim J. Mara, who inherited Jack's stake in the team upon Jack's death. By the 1970s, they almost never spoke to each other, and a partition had to be built in the owners' box. The Maras continued to retain close control over the Giants' day-to-day operations long after most other owners had delegated such authority. Only the fallout from the 1978 Fumble, in which a certain Giant win turned into a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on a last-second fumble, convinced the Maras of the need to modernize--among other things, by hiring Young and giving him full control over football operations.

Timothy J. "Tim" Mara was an American businessman and part owner of the New York Giants football team. He, along with his mother Helen and sister Maura Concannon, owned a 50% stake in the team from 1965 until 1991. However, Tim Mara was much more involved with the team than his mother or his sister were.

Miracle at the Meadowlands Fumble that allowed Philadelphia Eagles to win a 1978 game over the New York Giants

The Miracle at the Meadowlands was a fumble recovery by cornerback Herman Edwards that he returned for a touchdown at the end of a November 19, 1978, National Football League (NFL) game against the New York Giants in Giants Stadium. It is considered miraculous because the Giants were ahead and could easily have run out the final seconds; they had the ball and the Eagles had no timeouts left. Everyone watching expected quarterback Joe Pisarcik to take one more snap and kneel with the ball, thus running out the clock and preserving a 17–12 Giants upset. Instead, he botched an attempt to hand off the football to fullback Larry Csonka. Edwards picked up the dropped ball and ran 26 yards for the winning score.

Philadelphia Eagles National Football League franchise in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. In the 2017 season the team won Super Bowl LII, their first Super Bowl win in franchise history and their fourth NFL title overall, after winning the Championship Game in 1948, 1949, and 1960.

Under Mara's direction the New York Football Giants won six NFL titles (including two Super Bowl wins), nine conference championships (including six Eastern Conference championships in the days before the NFL-AFL merger and three NFC championships post-merger), and 13 division championships. An eighth NFL title, third and fourth Super Bowl victories, fifth NFC championship (11th conference championship overall), and 15th division title have been captured since his passing under the leadership of his son, John, and co-owner Steve Tisch (who in turn is the son of Wellington's former co-owner from 1991–2005, Bob Tisch; Tisch also died in 2005, with his death coming three weeks after Mara's).

Super Bowl Annual championship game of the National Football League in American football

The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL) where the champion of the National Football Conference (NFC) competes against the champion of the American Football Conference (AFC). The game is the culmination of a regular season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. Normally, Roman numerals are used to identify each game, rather than the year in which it is held. For example, Super Bowl I was played on January 15, 1967, following the 1966 regular season. The sole exception to this naming convention tradition occurred with Super Bowl 50, which was played on February 7, 2016, following the 2015 regular season, and the following year, the nomenclature returned to Roman numerals for Super Bowl LI, following the 2016 regular season. The upcoming Super Bowl is Super Bowl LIV, scheduled for February 2, 2020, following the 2019 regular season.

John Mara American football executive

John K. Mara, Esq ( MAR is the president, CEO, and co-owner of the New York Giants.

Steve Tisch American businessman

Steven Elliot Tisch is an American film producer and businessman. He is the chairman, co-owner and Executive Vice President of the New York Giants, the NFL team co-owned by his family, as well as a film and television producer. He is the son of former Giants co-owner Bob Tisch.

The Giants have also accumulated the third highest number of victories in National Football League history. Mara was also well liked by the Giants' players, and was known to stick by them even when they struggled with off-the-field problems. When Lawrence Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999 he credited Mara for supporting him even during the worst times of his drug addiction saying, "He probably cared more about me as a person than he really should have." [2] Taylor has since lived a clean life style and credits Mara with helping him fight his addiction. [3]

The grave of Wellington Mara in Gate of Heaven Cemetery 1 Mara 800.jpg
The grave of Wellington Mara in Gate of Heaven Cemetery

He had surgery in May 2005 to remove cancerous lymph nodes from his neck and under his armpit, but was initially given a good prognosis by his doctors who said the cancer had not metastasized, according to his son, John Mara, who is the Giants' co-chief executive officer.

Not long after Mara came to work with the team, the players--many of whom were barely older than him--nicknamed him "Duke" because they knew he was named after the Duke of Wellington, whom his father called "the fightingest of all Irishmen." The nickname stuck. The Wilson football used in NFL games prior to the AFL merger (1941–69) was nicknamed "THE DUKE" after Mara. [4] For the 2006 season and beyond, a new version of "THE DUKE" has been used in NFL games.

He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997. Mara was married to Ann Mara. His granddaughters include actresses Kate Mara and Rooney Mara.

In 2012, Mara was elected into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. [5]

Death

Wellington Mara succumbed to lymphoma in 2005 at age 89. He was interred at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York, after his funeral at New York's Saint Patrick's Cathedral. [6] [7] He was survived by his wife Ann Mara (1929-2015), 11 children, and 42 grandchildren. His team honored him after his death by defeating the Washington Redskins, the team he always viewed as the Giants' biggest (and oldest) rival, 36–0 on October 30, 2005 at Giants Stadium. [7] The 80,000 fans in attendance gave his mention a standing ovation.

See also

Related Research Articles

The Staten Island Stapletons also known as the Staten Island Stapes were a professional American football team founded in 1915 that played in the National Football League from 1929 to 1932. The team was based in the Stapleton section of Staten Island. They played under the shortened nickname the "Stapes" the final two seasons. Jack Shapiro, who was a blocking back for the Stapletons, was the shortest player in NFL history. The team was based in Staten Island, New York.

Rosey Brown Player of American football

Roosevelt "Rosey" Brown Jr. was an American football player. He was an offensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants from 1953 to 1965. He previously played college football for Morgan State University.

Preston Robert Tisch was an American businessman who was the chairman and—along with his brother Laurence Tisch—was part owner of the Loews Corporation. From 1991 until his death, Tisch owned 50% of the New York Giants football team and shared ownership of the team with Wellington Mara.

Sam Huff American football player

Robert Lee "Sam" Huff is a former professional American football linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982. He played college football for the West Virginia Mountaineers football team and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Tuffy Leemans Player of American football

Alphonse Emil "Tuffy" Leemans was an American football fullback and halfback who played on both offense and defense. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978 and was named in 1969 to the NFL 1930s All-Decade Team.

The 2006 NFL season was the 87th regular season of the National Football League. Regular season play was held from September 7 to December 31, 2006.

Kyle Rote Player of American football

William Kyle Rote, Sr. was an American football player, a running back and receiver for eleven years in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants. He was an All-American running back at Southern Methodist University and was the first overall selection of the 1951 NFL Draft. Following his playing career, Rote was the Giants backfield coach and was a sports broadcaster for WNEW radio, NBC, and WNBC New York.

Steve Owen (American football) American football player and coach

Stephen Joseph Owen was an American football player and coach. He earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as head coach of the National Football League's New York Giants from 1930 to 1953.

History of the New York Giants history of the American football team from its origins to the present

The New York Giants, an American football team which currently plays in the National Football League's National Football Conference, has a history dating back more than 80 seasons. The Giants were founded in 1925 by Tim Mara in the then five-year-old NFL. Mara owned the team until his death in 1959, when it was passed on to his sons, Wellington and Jack. During their history, the Giants have won eight NFL championships, four of which came in Super Bowls.

Peter Kornel Gogolak is a former American football placekicker in the American Football League (AFL) for the Buffalo Bills and in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants.

History of the New York Giants (1925–78)

The history of the New York Giants from 1925 to 1978 covers the American football franchise from the team's inception until the conclusion of their tumultuous 1978 season. Currently members of the NFL's National Football Conference, the Giants were founded in 1925 by original owner Tim Mara in the then five-year-old NFL. Mara gave control of the team over to his two sons—Wellington and Jack—early in their lives. During this period in their history the Giants acquired four NFL championships, but also suffered some down times, including consecutive non-playoff seasons from 1964 to 1978.

Financial history of the New York Giants

The New York Giants, an American football team which plays in the National Football League (NFL), have had a long, and at times turbulent financial history. The Giants were founded in 1925 by businessman and bookmaker Tim Mara with an investment of 500 US$, and became one of the first teams in the then five-year-old NFL. Mara passed ownership of the team on to his sons Wellington and Jack after the 1929 Stock Market Crash to insulate the team from creditors. At first the Mara sons owned the team in name only, but they took increasingly larger roles in the organization beginning in the mid-1930s. Tim Mara remained involved in the team's operations until his death in 1959, when his sons assumed full control of the club. After Jack's passing in 1965, his son, Tim, took over his share of the team.

Rooney family family involved in business activities

The Rooney family is an Irish-American family which, after emigrating from Ireland in the 1840s, established its American roots in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the 1880s, and is known for its connections to the sports, acting, and political fields.

The 1991 New York Giants season was the franchise's 67th season in the National Football League. The Giants entered the season as the defending Super Bowl champion but failed to qualify for the playoffs. They were the eighth team in NFL history to enter a season as the defending Super Bowl champion and miss the playoffs, and became the first organization in NFL history to do so twice.

References

  1. "MRS. TIMOTHY J. MARA". New York Times. July 23, 1963. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  2. sportsillustrated.cnn.com, Five for the ages: Pro Football Hall of Fame inducts five more members, accessed February 17, 2007
  3. Dave Anderson, PRO FOOTBALL; Losing Himself to Find Himself, New York Times, November 28, 2003, accessed April 4, 2008
  4. http://www.wilson.com/en-us/football/nfl/wilson-and-the-nfl/history/;jsessionid=F778176F5935A23A9E5C363660A75A0A
  5. "The Newark Star Ledger".
  6. Sandomir, Richard (October 29, 2005). "Mara Is Remembered as a Giant Among Men". The New York Times.
  7. 1 2 Hanlon, Greg (November 30, 2008). "Top 10 Moments in the Giants-Redskins Rivalry". The New York Times.