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Joan Tisch dies; matriarch of Giants’ co-owning family was 90

In this June 23, 2008, file photo, members

In this June 23, 2008, file photo, members of the Tisch family, from left, Wilma, Andrew, Joan, James, and Jonathan Tisch, attend the opening bell ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Joan Tisch, a noted philanthropist and the widow of former New York Giants co-owner Bob Tisch, has died at 90. The NFL football team said she died Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, after a brief illness but did not give a cause. Credit: AP / MARK LENNIHAN

Joan Tisch, matriarch of the family that owns half of the NFL’s Giants and one of New York City’s foremost philanthropists, died on Thursday morning after a brief illness. She was 90.

“Joan Tisch was a great lady who led an extraordinary life that touched so many people,” John Mara, Giants president and chief executive, said in a team statement on her passing. “She was an outstanding role model for her wonderful family and for all of us who knew her. We will miss her dearly.”

Joan Tisch was the last surviving member of the generation of Maras and Tisches that entered the initial partnership to co-own the Giants. In 1948 Joan Hyman married Preston Robert “Bob” Tisch, who would go on to become one of the nation’s most influential businessmen. He purchased a 50 percent share of the Giants from the Mara family in 1991. He and Wellington Mara passed away in 2005. Wellington Mara’s wife, Ann Mara, died in 2015.

The Tisches’ son Steve Tisch is the team’s current chairman and executive vice president while another son, Jonathan Tisch, is the team’s treasurer. Their daughter, Laurie Tisch, serves on the team’s board of directors.

On Sunday the Giants will observe a moment of silence before their 1 p.m. home game against the Los Angeles Rams in honor of Joan Tisch. They will also wear a decal with her initials on their helmets for the game and a patch on their jerseys for the remainder of the season.

Besides her three children, Joan Tisch is survived by 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Joan Tisch attended as many Giants games as she could. Beyond her stake in the football team, she served as a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art and was on the board of directors of Citymeals on Wheels. She played a significant role at the famed 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, where she was the co-chair of the Tisch Center for the Arts, which the Y named in her family’s honor. Her family also endowed the Tisch Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.

Joan Tisch was one of the pioneers in the fight against AIDS with her early support of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, where she served as honorary chair of the President’s Council. Bob and Joan Tisch were responsible for the creation of the Pres ton Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical School. Joan Tisch was co-president and a director of the Tisch Foundation, Inc., which contributes to a wide variety of charitable endeavors.

A funeral service for Tisch will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at Central Synagogue in Manhattan, with shiva to follow from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Loews Regency Hotel.

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