Learn about New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, including how he made his wealth, his education and more.
Woody Johnson | Chairman, CEO | Age: 71
Note: Woody’s brother, Christopher, is currently serving as Chairman and CEO of the Jets following Woody’s appointment as U.S. ambassador to the U.K.
Education: University of Arizona
How They Acquired the Franchise: Johnson purchased the team for $635 million from the estate of oil baron Leon Hess in January 2000. Johnson reportedly outbid Charles F. Dolan—the chairman of Cablevision, which at the time owned Madison Square Garden, the Knicks and the Rangers—with a purchase price that was, at the time, the third-highest in NFL history, surpassed only by the Redskins and Texans (it has since been surpassed several times).
Net Worth: $4.19 billion (per Bloomberg in 2018)
Franchise Valuation: 2.75 billion (per Forbes in 2017)
How They Made Their Money: He is the heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune (his great grandfather founded the company) and currently oversees a private New York investment company called the Johnson Company. In addition to the Jets, Johnson also has a stake in MetLife Stadium.
In the Owner’s Words: "If you want to go to the promised land, you've got to go in a certain direction,” Johnson told ESPN New York radio when asked about the team’s expectations in May 2017. “I think this a direction that we've never tried in 17 years that I've been involved with the Jets. We've never gone this way—build through the draft, build through young free agents that a lot of guys don't even pay attention to.
"We've tried various things over the years that I've been involved with the New York Jets, and what we haven't done is really concentrate on younger players, and making sure the coaching staff is capable of teaching those players and getting them better."
Political Donations: Johnson is active in Republican politics, serving as a Trump Victory Vice Chair nationwide and as a State Victory Finance Chair in New York in 2016. Among his notable contributions: $449,200 to the Victory Fund for Trump (across three donations) in 2016 and $500,000 to Right to Rise USA, a super PAC created to support Jeb Bush, in ‘15.
NFL Committees: Served on the NFL Commissioner Search Committee that selected Roger Goodell.
Next in Line: As noted above, his brother Christopher is running the Jets while Woody he serves as the ambassador to the U.K.