Betty Wold Johnson, the mother of New York Jets owners Christopher Johnson and Woody Johnson, has died. She was 99.
The Jets announced her death Friday night on their website, but didn’t provide details.
Betty Wold Johnson was often referred to as “The First Lady of the Jets” by players, and called them her “grandchildren.” She was renowned for her philanthropic efforts and was a long-time contributor to arts, education and healthcare initiatives in the New York and New Jersey areas.
Christopher Johnson is currently the Jets’ chairman and CEO, while Woody Johnson is serving as the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. Woody Johnson purchased the team in 2000 and the franchise became an important part of his mother’s life.
“There are very few people in this world who live to 99,” Pro Football Hall of Famer Curtis Martin told the Jets’ website. “And I’m sure if you go back and look at everything she did for other people, you could probably write a book on her from a philanthropic standpoint. She had such a charitable heart and a charitable way about her.”
Betty Wold Johnson was raised in Minnesota and often attended Golden Gophers games with her father, Karl Christian Wold. She later married Robert Wood Johnson III, the grandson of Robert Wood Johnson I — the co-founder of Johnson & Johnson.
“When I think of her, I think of her as ‘The First Lady of the Jets,’” former quarterback Chad Pennington said. “I think of Ms. Johnson as nothing but first class with how she treated people, how she carried herself and how she represented herself and her family.”