Virginia Halas McCaskey
Principal owner &|
|Date of birth:||January 5, 1923|
|Place of birth:||Chicago, Illinois|
|Career highlights and awards|
Virginia Halas McCaskey (born January 5, 1923) is the principal owner of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. She is the eldest child of legendary Bears coach and owner George Halas, who left the team to his daughter upon his death in 1983. After the death of Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson in March 2014, she became the oldest owner in the NFL.
Her formal title within the Bears organization is corporate secretary. However, she is empowered to speak for the interests of her children and grandchildren, effectively giving her 80% ownership of the team.
McCaskey's brother, George "Mugs" Halas, Jr., was the heir apparent for the franchise, but he died suddenly of a heart attack in 1979. As a result, when her father died, McCaskey inherited an incredible nucleus of a team and was the owner when the Bears won Super Bowl XX. However, the team struggled in the 1990s and, since 1999 she has been a very hands-off owner. Her son Michael McCaskey was team president from 1983 to 1999 and was chairman of the board until May 6, 2011, when his brother George McCaskey assumed the position. George McCaskey had been the Bears ticket office director since 1991. Team president Ted Phillips currently has operational control; when he became team president, it marked the first time in the team's history that a Halas or McCaskey had not held that title.
Halas's husband, Ed McCaskey, was previously the chairman and treasurer of the Bears. Although McCaskey never had any official share of ownership, he acted as co-owner alongside his wife. He died in 2003.
On January 21, 2007, she accepted the NFC Championship trophy, which bears her father's name. She called it "her happiest day so far", after the Bears had beaten the New Orleans Saints to earn a trip to Super Bowl XLI.
- Sean Jensen, "Heirs and Bears: The mysterious McCaskeys", Chicago Sun-Times, April 1, 2010.
- Brad Briggs, "Addressing issues: A new McCaskey takes the helm", Chicago Tribune, May 6, 2011.