Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Oct 2005

Giants Owner Wellington Mara Dies at 89

Giants owner Wellington Mara, one of the most important figures in the rise of professional football, has died. In 1925, shortly after his father bought the Giants, 9-year-old Wellington sold tickets on Red Grange's barnstorming tour, which helped the NFL go from a locally popular sport in the Midwest to a sport that garnered national attention. In the 1960s, he agreed to share revenues from television contracts with small-market clubs, a decision that helped make the NFL more competitive and more popular everywhere. Mara is survived by his wife, 11 children, and 40 grandchildren.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 25 Oct 2005

5 comments, Last at 26 Oct 2005, 12:13am by ChrisFromNJ

Comments

1
by James, London (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 1:02pm

Condolences to his family.

I don't mean to seem insensitive, but will Mara's death have any impact on the new CBA negotiations?

Given his history, I'd imagine that those in favour of an expansion of revenue sharing have lost a key figure.

2
by Michael David Smith :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 1:44pm

Good question, and not at all insensitive. I don't think Mara's death will have much of an impact because he had already given up most of the day-to-day operations. It's mostly the big-market teams under newer ownership, like the Cowboys and Redskins, who aren't big on sharing revenue.

3
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 3:28pm

He really had a remarkable career, and I think he's a big part of the reason the Giants always seemed to have this sense of history about them that most other teams lack, at least to me. What I'm wondering is if this will have any impact on the ownership. Obviously, his sons are involved with the team, but I don't know if they have any assets besides the Giants, so will they have to sell off their half of the team to deal with the estate taxes?

4
by Richie (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 7:59pm

11 children? How many wives?

5
by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 12:13am

#3:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/26/sports/football/26giants.html (registration/bugmenot, of course).

It looks like it's hopefully safe to stay in the Mara family.

#4: How many wives?

Just one (very tired) wife, believe it or not.

RIP, Wellington. It's going to be impossible to replace you.