Myra Kraft Biography
Myra Kraft (Myra Hiatt Kraft) was an American philanthropist and the wife of New England Patriots and New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft.
Myra Kraft Age
Myra Kraft was born on December 27, 1942 in Worcester, Massachusetts. U.S.
Myra Kraft Husband | Robert Kraft
In June 1963, Kraft married Robert Kraft while she was a student at Brandeis.
Myra Kraft Children
The couple has four sons:
- Jonathan A. Kraft is president of The Kraft Group and the New England Patriots.
- Daniel A. Kraft is president of International Forest Products founded in 1972 by his father.
- Joshua Kraft is president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.
- David Kraft was a member of Temple Emanuel in Newton, Massachusetts.
Myra Kraft Death
Kraft died on July 20, 2011 from cancer at age 68, in her Brookline, Massachusetts home. Public services were conducted in Newton at Temple Emanuel Massachusetts. All Patriots players wore a patch on their uniforms bearing Kraft’s initials (MHK) throughout the 2011–12 season in her memory.
Myra Kraft Parents
Kraft was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1942, the daughter of Frances and Jacob Hiatt. Kraft’s father was a Lithuanian Jewish immigrant who had served as a circuit judge of the Court of Lithuania before immigrating in 1935. Hiatt’s parents and three other members of his family died during the Holocaust. He went on to become a well known philanthropist and leader in the Jewish community. Hiatt served as president of the E.F. Dodge Paper Box Corp. in Leominster, Massachusetts and remained president when it merged with 12 other box and printing companies to become the Rand-Whitney Corp. In 1972, Rand-Whitney was bought by his son-in-law, Robert Kraft.
Myra Kraft Education
Kraft graduated from the private Bancroft School in Worcester in 1960 and in 1964 she graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in History.
Myra Kraft Philanthropy
Kraft was listed as one of the 20 Most Powerful Women in Boston by Boston Magazine. She was director and president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and trustee of the Robert K. and Myra H. Kraft Foundation. Kraft served on the boards of directors of the American Repertory Theatre, Northeastern University, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, and Brandeis University. Kraft and her husband donated millions of dollars to promote American football in Israel building the Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem and founding the Israeli Football League. Kraft also helped to support and fund the Israeli Women’s National Flag Football Team.
Kraft and her husband founded the “Passport to Israel” Program with the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston which provided financial assistance to Jewish parents to send their children to Israel while teenagers to help promote Jewish identity. Kraft, her husband and her father endowed two professorships in comparative religion to encourage greater understanding between Christians and Jews, at the College of the Holy Cross and Brandeis University: the Kraft-Hiatt Chair in Judaic Studies at Holy Cross and the Kraft-Hiatt Chair in Christian Studies at Brandeis University.
Kraft was credited by The International Herald Tribune with “modeling a new form of engaged giving that is transforming the relationship between philanthropist and philanthropy” and the Boston Globe stated she was “forging a whole new form of engaged giving.” The Krafts have donated more than $100 million to a wide range of charities mostly focusing on education, women’s issues, athletics and Israel.
Myra Kraft New England Patriots
Krafts family created the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation where Myra Hiatt Kraft was the president of the team’s non-profit entity to support charitable and philanthropic agencies throughout New England. Kraft became known as the matriarch of the franchise through her work with the Patriots Charitable Foundation, providing leadership by her example of volunteerism and helping others in need.
Kraft learned shortly after the 1996 NFL Draft, that the Patriots’ fifth-round choice, Christian Peter of Nebraska, had a lengthy history of violence against women. At her insistence, coupled by backlash from women’s groups and Patriots fans against Peter’s signing, Patriots relinquished Peter’s rights only a week after the draft.