Rooney Mara’s Family Owns The New York Giants

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Rooney Mara’s Family Owns The New York Giants, Years before Super Bowl XLVI or even Super Bowl I, the story goes that Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney met New York football Giants founder Tim Mara at Moore's Restaurant in New York. Mara, a licensed bookie (according to his grandson, current Giants CEO and president John Mara) was selling Rooney on a horse.

To the chagrin of Kathleen, Rooney's pregnant wife, the Steelers' scion put a whopping $50,000 on the horse, and waited on the result. When Mara returned, he announced that Rooney's horse had indeed won the race...reported....nydailynews.

Rooney, feeling bouyant because of his new windfall, announced that in return he would name his new baby Timothy (in honor of Mara) should it turn out to be a boy.

The baby Rooney was indeed a boy, and years later, Timothy J. Rooney's daughter, Kathleen Rooney, married a certain Chris Mara, another grandson of Tim Mara.
Chris Mara is the current Giants vice president of player evaluation.

The Mara/Rooney football family link was forever cemented with Kathleen Rooney's and Chris Mara's union, and the couple even injected some Hollywood aura into the football dynasties. Two of Kathleen and Chris' four children -- Kate and Patricia (also known as Rooney) -- are Hollywood stars, with Rooney Mara recently nominated for a best actress Oscar for her role in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

With three (hopefully four come Sunday) Giants titles and six Steelers titles in the history books, the family hierarchy is certainly not lacking in bling.

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Tim Mara: A native of New York City, the original Giants owner bought the franchise for a princely sum of $500. Used legendary Red Grange and visiting Chicago Bears as a ticket draw at end of 1925 season. More than 70,000 packed Polo Grounds to watch the game.

Lizette Mara (Barclay): As grandson John Mara tells it, "The story goes that my father (Wellington) came home from a (home) game (at the Polo Grounds) with a cold. The Giants bench was on the shady side so my grandmother insisted that my grandfather move the bench over to the sunny side. It's been there ever since. We're one of the very few teams in the league that still has the bench on the sunny side of the field."

* * *

Jack Mara (oldest son to Tim and Lizette): Started his football career as a teenager, marking the downs on the field at Giants' games. Later, he tried to hire Vince Lombardi to replace Steve Owen as head coach.

Helen Mara: (after Jack's death in 1965, married Joe Nugent). "I am quite certain there is no relation between (Helen's second husband Joe) and (singer) Ted Nugent," says John Mara with a laugh.

Timothy J. Mara (son of Jack and Helen): Inherited 50% control of Giants upon death of his father, and became VP and one of two chief operating officers along with uncle, Wellington. Sold family's share to Preston Robert Tisch, 1991. Died in 1995.

Maura Mara (daughter of Jack and Helen; married to Dick Concannon, three daughters).

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Wellington Mara (son to Tim and Lizette): The long-time Giants owner skipped law school to take team owner baton from his dad. Wellington once had college (Fordham University) buddy Vince Lombardi crash in the same apartment Wellington and wife Ann shared. "There were times when Vince did sleep on the couch in their apartment
when he was in between finding places to live," says John Mara. Vince Lombardi was also godfather to Wellington's son, Stephen.

Ann Mara: The 82-year-old matriarch showed her feistiness when she scolded Hall of Fame QB Terry Bradshaw on national TV after the NFC title game last month, but her introduction to Wellington had some drama, as well. "My parents met in St. Ignatius Loyola church when an elderly woman fainted," says John Mara. "They both went to assist her. It's the same church, I think, where they ended up getting married."

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