NEW YORK -- Robert Tisch, co-owner of the New York Giants
and a civic leader in New York City for several decades, died
Tuesday of brain cancer. He was 79.
Tisch died at his home, family spokesman Jeffrey Stewart said.
The Giants' other co-owner, Wellington Mara, died Oct. 25, also of
Mara was the son of team founder Timothy J. Mara. Tisch bought
50 percent of the Giants in 1991 from Tim Mara, Wellington Mara's
nephew, not long after the Giants beat Buffalo in the Super Bowl.
"To lose Bob Tisch so soon after we lost our father is
especially heartbreaking for the Mara family," said John Mara, the
Giants' chief operating officer. "He not only was a great business
partner, he was a dear friend to our family and to me personally.
... We will miss him terribly, and we will never forget everything
he did for our family, our team and the numerous charitable causes
to which he was devoted."
Tisch was also U.S. postmaster general from 1986-88 and chairman
and director of Loews Corp., a company he and his late brother,
Laurence Tisch, had purchased in 1959 when it was a movie theater
chain. The company changed its name from Loews Theaters in 1971 and
currently owns and operates Loews Hotels, the Lorillard Tobacco Co.
and Bulova Corp., among other interests.
Tisch was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2004 and
had curtailed his regular visits to Giants practices and games.
During his illness, his son, Steve Tisch, was named the Giants
executive vice president and took on a larger role in the
operations of the team, particularly in the negotiations between
the Giants and the state of New Jersey over a new stadium at the
Meadowlands sports complex.
Steve Tisch and brother Jonathan Tisch, the Giants' treasurer,
addressed the team after practice on Saturday, the day before the
Giants lost to the Minnesota Vikings at the Meadowlands.
The Giants will continue to be co-owned by the Tisch and Mara
"I wanted to express to the players, the coaches and really the
whole staff what being involved with the New York Giants has meant
to my father," Steve Tisch said. "For the 14 years he's had the
privilege of owning this team, it's been the greatest gift for him,
professionally and personally."
A native of New York, Robert Tisch was involved in numerous
civic organizations in the city. He served as the chairman of the
New York Convention and Visitors Bureau for 19 years and was
chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Democratic national
conventions held in New York in 1976 and 1980.
Mayor David Dinkins in 1980 appointed Tisch the city's
ambassador to Washington, a post he held through 1993. He also was
chairman of the New York Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1990
Football was his love, his family said.
"It gave him so much pleasure and so much pride," Steve Tisch
said. "Sunday after Sunday after Sunday, this is what he lived and
Among the charitable organizations Robert Tisch helped found was
Take the Field, a nonprofit corporation that has raised more than
$130 million to renovate and rebuild public school athletic
facilities in New York.
Born Preston Robert Tisch on April 29, 1926, he attended
Bucknell University and, after serving in the military in World War
II, earned a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of
He is survived by his wife, Joan Tisch, and three children.