In my last article I spoke about the NFL’s first female coach Dr Jen Welter and the first full time female official Sarah Thomas and although these positions are ground-breaking there is one role which women have held and continue to hold: team ownership. Here are four women who own or co-own NFL teams.
Virginia Halas McCaskey
In 1983 Virginia Halas McCaskey inherited the Chicago Bears from her father ‘Mr. Everything,’ George Halas. A Chicago native, George was a player, coach, NFL co-founder, Chicago Bears founder, president and owner. The 92 year old owns 80% of the team and saw the Bears win the Super Bowl XX in 1985. Her official title is Secretary of the Board of Directors.
Carol and Mark Davis
Carol and her son Mark Davis hold the majority controlling interest for the Oakland Raiders. The team was brought by Carol’s husband Al Davis in 1973 and is now estimated to be worth $970 million. The Raiders are three time Super Bowl champions.
Martha Firestone Ford
A decedent of Henry Ford, William Clay Ford worked for the Ford Motor Company before buying the Detroit Lions for $4.5 million in 1963. Today, the Lions have a net worth of $960 million and are now owned by Martha Firestone Ford, William’s widow. Martha has been associated with the team since her late husband purchased it in the early sixties and at age 90 she is the majority owner. Despite the team’s legacy, Detroit is the only NFC team not to have played in the Super Bowl.
Kim and Terry Pegula
Left on a street corner in Seoul, no one could have imagined that an orphan from South Korea would one day have a net worth of $3.8 billion. According to Forbes that’s how much Kim and her husband Terry Pegula are worth. After a rocky start to life, Kim was adopted in 1973 at the age of 5 by American parents. Nowadays, she is the co-owner of both the Buffalo Bills and the NHL team Buffalo Sabres. Originally, the Buffalo Bills belonged to Ralph Wilson who saw the team through from its founding until his death in 2014. Business man Terry Pegula who in the past has owned a gas and oil company is rumored to have placed a cash bid of $1.4 billion dollars to secure the Buffalo Bills. The team has been to the Super Bowl 4 times, but it yet to claim a victory. Unlike some of the older team owners, Kim has a hands on approach to her job and an unstoppable work ethic with involvement in many areas including marketing and PR.