Kate Mara And Rooney Mara’s Surprising Family History

Truth rating: 10
Rooney Mara in a black and white dress standing next to Kate Mara, who is waring a black dress on the red carpet

By Brianna Morton |

Rooney Mara in a black and white dress standing next to Kate Mara, who is waring a black dress on the red carpet

(Getty Images)

Kate and Rooney Mara have a few surprising familial connections. Hailing from two families that are basically NFL royalty, the Mara sisters typically don’t call attention to their illustrious family. Still, details surrounding their distinguished family have emerged and painted an intimate portrait for curious fans of Kate and Rooney.

The First Family of Football

The two actresses don’t just hail from one famous football family, but two. Their paternal great-grandfather, Timothy James, founded the New York Giants. At the time, he paid $500 for the rights to the team, which is about $12,000 in today’s money. It was an investment well worth the price since the team is now worth over $3 billion. Kate and Rooney’s father, Timothy Christopher, is the senior vice president of player personnel. Their uncle, John, is the president, CEO and co-owner of the team.

On the maternal side, their great-grandfather, Art Rooney, founded the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rooney and Kate’s uncle is currently the owner and president of the team, which is valued at over $2 billion. Speaking of her childhood as part of a football dynasty, Kate recalled going to see the Giants play in New York fondly. “It reminds me of my childhood,” she told Variety in 2018. “Going to a Giants game in New York with my family on a Sunday, to me, that is the normal way and the most comforting way because you’re surrounded by family, and love, and a lot of passion.”

Much Ado About Mara

The Mara family is not quite as well-known or gossiped about as other wealthy families, unlike the Vanderbilts, Kennedys or Hiltons. The family prefers to keep a fairly low profile, with Kate and Rooney being the most visible members.

Another way they differ from those high profile clans? Kate and Rooney attended public school in their Bedford, New York community rather than an expensive private school or exclusive boarding school. Still, the average annual income of that town is almost $200,000. Plenty of celebrities have called Bedford home at one point or another throughout the years. Martha Stewart, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas are just a few of the stars that have lived in the area.

A Minor Amount of Mara Myths

Though the Mara sisters typically keep out of the limelight unless they’re acting, tabloids do occasionally target them with false rumors. Since she and Joaquin Phoenix began dating, the tabloids have taken a particular interest in Rooney. Last February, Star claimed Rooney and Phoenix had been fighting non-stop over getting married and having kids.

Rooney, according to the disreputable magazine, was apparently very interested in becoming a wife and a mother because Kate was expecting her first child with husband Jamie Bell. “Rooney always wants what her sister has,” a source told the magazine. Gossip Cop had no trouble debunking this bogus story. Both Rooney and Phoenix have made it clear in the past that they have no plans to get married because they think it’s too mainstream. We also checked in with a source close to the situation, who told us the story was false.


Taylor, Elizabeth. "Kate Mara, Whose Family Co-Owns the NY Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers, Supports Players Kneeling." Variety, 24 Aug. 2018.

Shuster, Andrew. "Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara Fighting Nonstop Over Marriage And Kids?" Gossip Cop, 21 Feb. 2019.