Joan H. Tisch, matriarch of the Tisch family, passed away Thursday at age 90.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Joan H. Tisch, one of the first ladies of the Giants and the matriarch of the family that owns 50 percent of the franchise, passed away this morning after a brief illness. She was 90.
Mrs. Tisch was the widow of Preston Robert "Bob" Tisch, who purchased a 50 percent share of the Giants in 1991. Bob Tisch, who was one of the nation's most influential businessmen and a civic leader in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area for decades, passed away on Nov. 15, 2005, just three weeks after co-owner Wellington Mara died.
Bob and Joan Tisch have three children – Steve (the Giants' chairman and executive vice president), Laurie (member of Giants' board of directors) and Jonathan (the Giants' treasurer) – as well as 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
From the time the Tisches joined the Mara family as owners of the team, Wellington's wife Ann and Joan Tisch were the franchise's first ladies. Ann Mara passed away on Feb. 1, 2015.
"Joan Tisch was a great lady who led an extraordinary life that touched so many people," said John Mara, Giants president and chief executive officer. "She was an outstanding role model for her wonderful family and for all of us who knew her. We will miss her dearly."
Mrs. Tisch was one of New York City's foremost philanthropists. 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. Mrs. Tisch was one of the pioneers in the fight against AIDS with her early support of the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), where she served as Honorary Chair of the President's Council. Bob and Joan Tisch were responsible for the creation of the Preston 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.
In 2008, Mrs. Tisch and Mrs. Mara were honored together at the Champions for Children Gala, an annual fundraiser in New York to benefit Tom Coughlin's Jay Fund Foundation.
"It is an honor to salute a woman whose name is synonymous with vision, leadership and philanthropy to benefit New York and beyond," Coughlin said in his speech that night. "Joan Tisch is a legend. Joan, in her efforts and those combined with her wonderful husband Bob, whom we all miss dearly, and so many others have helped to nurture and provide educational resources for children from the earliest years at the 92nd Street Y through college years at NYU. Joan has been an inspirational advocate for health care, including pioneer efforts to provide services to those with AIDS and helping children and adults with cancer in New York City and across the nation. Joan's distinguished tradition of supporting cultural resources and the arts have fine organizations like MoMA and the Met and others too numerous to mention benefit children's spirits and imaginations. Joan, by your many good works and stellar examples, you have inspired your children and many others to share in your passion for philanthropy and generous giving spirit to benefit those in need. Joan, your acceptance of this award brings greater meaning to tonight's event and lends greater significance to the award for future recipients. Please accept it with our thanks and in tribute for all you do to make life better for so many."
Joan Hyman Tisch was born in New York City on July 14, 1927. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1948, the same year she married Bob Tisch, whom she had met on the Ann Arbor campus. They were married for 57 years.
Joan Tisch was a fervent Giants fan who attended as many games as she could. On Sunday, the Giants will observe a moment of silence prior to their 1 p.m. home game against the Los Angeles Rams.
In Mrs. Tisch's memory, the Giants will wear a decal with her initials (JHT) on their helmets this Sunday. For the remainder of the season, they will wear a jersey patch with her initials.
A funeral service for Mrs. Tisch will be held on Monday at 11 am at Central Synagogue (652 Lexington Ave / 55th Street). Shiva to follow from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Loews Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue/61st Street).