WASHINGTON – In honor of Wellington Mara’s extraordinary life and legacy, the House of Representatives today passed by voice vote H.Res. 517, authored by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08). The legislation expresses condolence and recognizes the profound contributions that Wellington Mara made to the New York Giants Football Club, the National Football League (NFL), and the United States of America.
“I have long admired the selfless way that Wellington Mara lived his life, and shaped the NFL,” stated Pascrell, the author of H.Res. 517. “This resolution is a national gesture that is a fitting token of appreciation for a great American.”
“Our family is extremely humbled by Rep. Pascrell’s resolution in honor of my father and its passage by the House,” said John Mara, the oldest of Wellington’s 11 children and the Giants’ team president.”The last thing he would ever want is to be singled out for what he did in his life and the way in which he lived it. He simply tried to do the right thing as best he could, and while he would shudder at the recognition, we, his family, are greatly appreciative.”
In 1930, Wellington and Jack were named part owners of the New York Giants by their father, Tim Mara. Together they led the club to five NFL Championship games between 1958 and 1963. Under Wellington’s leadership, the New York Giants have 26 postseason appearances, 18 NFL divisional championships, and 6 NFL championships, including the Super Bowl XXI and Super Bowl XXV titles.
Wellington”s success in the New York media market did not discourage him from supporting an agreement to share television revenues equally among all NFL teams. In supporting the agreement, Wellington and Jack Mara sacrificed significant revenue for their own team, but put the NFL on a path to collective success that it still enjoys today.
“The NFL that Wellington crafted has reshaped the way millions of Americans families across America enjoy weekends together,” said Pascrell”
The only time Mr. Mara spent away from the New York Giants was during World War II, when he honorably served in the United States Navy as a Lieutenant Commander in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.
Mara has been inducted into the Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame, and received one of Fordham’s greatest distinctions when he was honored with the Fordham Founder’s Award. In 1997 Mara was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Mara was so highly regarded by his fellow owners that on March 27, 2006, the NFL renamed their official game ball “The Duke,” the nickname given to Mara as a child by the New York Giants’ players.
Mara served his community as a board member on the Giants Foundation, a charitable organization founded by the New York Giants to provide financial and social support for disadvantaged youths in the New York Metropolitan Area.
“Wellington is a model for the principles of charity and compassion that are taught at Fordham University,” said Pascrell, a fellow alumnus of Fordham University. “As a fellow Fordham Ram, passage of this resolution marks a very proud moment in my career.”
Mara passed away on October 25, 2005 at the age of 89. He is survived by his wife, 11 children, 41 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.