Billionaire Philanthropist And New York Giants Owner Joan Tisch Dies
Joan Tisch, a prominent New York philanthropist, member of The Forbes 400 and the widow of former New York Giants co-owner Preston Robert ‘Bob’ Tisch, died on Thursday at the age of 90.
“Joan Tisch was a great lady who led an extraordinary life that touched so many people,” John Mara, Giants president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “She was an outstanding role model for her wonderful family and for all of us who knew her. We will miss her dearly.”
Joan Hyman Tisch was a native New Yorker, born in 1927. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1948 with a BA in English. That same year she married Bob Tisch, who also graduated from Univ. of Michigan in 1948.
Forbes estimated that Tisch was worth $4 billion at the time of her death. She inherited her fortune from her late husband (d.2005), who with his brother Laurence Tisch gained control of Loews Theaters in 1959 and created the parent company Loews. Bob purchased 50% of the Giants NFL team in 1991 for $75 million from Wellington Mara, the father of Giants’ CEO John Mara. Twenty six years later, team’s net value is around 2.8 billion, making Joan’s half worth roughly $1.4 billion. Since buying a stake in the team, the Giants have won the Super Bowl twice, in 2008 and 2012. Joan was also the largest individual shareholder (with 6%) of Loews, the holding company that owns an insurance company, drilling rigs, natural gas pipelines and runs hotels. She ranked number 172 on the 2017 Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, published last month; she was the 27th wealthiest woman on the list.
The Tisch family is one of America’s wealthiest. Joan’s sister-in law Wilma Tisch is also a billionaire; Wilma’s son James has been president and CEO of Loews since 1998.
A committed philanthropist and anti-AIDS advocate, Joan Tisch funded construction of the Tisch Building at Gay Men’s Health Crisis in Manhattan in 1997. In 2011, she donated an undisclosed amount to create the Joan H. Tisch Center For Women’s Health at NYU, one of several Tisch-named entities at NYU. Thirty five years ago, Bob, along with his brother Laurence, donated $7.5 million to NYU’s School of Arts, a world-renowned art conservatory now known as The Tisch School of the Arts.
Joan Tisch is survived by three children – Giants’ chairman Steve; Laurie, a member of the Giants’ board of directors; and Jonathan, the Giants’ treasurer – as well as 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The Giants announced that the team will observe a moment of silence this Sunday prior to the home game against the Los Angeles Rams. In Joan Tisch’s memory, the Giants will wear a decal with her initials (JHT) on their helmets. For the remainder of the season they will wear a patch with her initials on the team jersey.