Myra Kraft was the long-time, beloved wife of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. By all accounts, they had a happy marriage, and Robert Kraft was devastated when his wife died.
Myra Kraft’s grandparents died in the Holocaust. She was remembered for her devotion to the community and her charitable work.
Since Myra died in 2011, Robert Kraft has been connected to a girlfriend named Ricki Noel Lander. However, that relationship appears to be complex (she recently gave birth to a baby he says is not his). He has not remarried since Myra died.
TMZ reported on February 22, 2019 that authorities in Florida have issued a warrant for Robert Kraft’s arrest “as part of a recent prostitution, human trafficking sting operation in Jupiter, Florida.” Specifically, he is expected to be accused of soliciting a prostitute, the site reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Myra Kraft Died From Cancer & the Patriots Season Was Dedicated to Her That Year
Robert Kraft and his wife married in 1963 and stayed married until her death. Theirs was a long and happy marriage.
In 2011, NFL.com and other sites reported that Robert Kraft’s wife, Myra Kraft, had died of cancer.
“Myra Kraft, the wife of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and a hard-working philanthropist dedicated to numerous causes, died Wednesday morning after a battle with cancer, the team said in a statement. She was 68,” the site reported.
“We are all heartbroken,” the team’s statement said, adding that Myra Kraft’s death was “a great loss.” According to the Boston Globe, the 2011 Patriots season was dedicated to Myra. Fans honored her by holding signs with her initials – MHK – at games.
2. Robert Kraft Has Discussed How He Felt ‘Robbed’ & Lonely After Myra’s Early Death
The Boston Globe newspaper reported that Kraft was filled with grief after his wife died, quoting him as saying, “I sort of feel robbed. I try to stay very busy, I basically work seven days a week. I try to do new things, to meet new people.” In fact, the Globe reports, Kraft was so distraught by Myra’s death that his children worried they could lose him too as a result. He was given a medallion with the couple’s photo in it when Myra was sick.
“Myra was the picture of health,” he said to the Globe. “She weighed 98 pounds, she read four books a week, she ate healthy and exercised every day. Our plan was that she was going to outlive me by 30 years.”
Kraft described to the Globe how lonely he felt when Myra first died.
“I’m blessed with four great children and eight grandchildren,” he said to the newspaper. “But you go home, and you go home alone, and no one’s there. It’s just really sad.” He hastens to add: “No one’s going to feel sorry for me because I’ve been so blessed.”
3. Myra Kraft Was Heavily Involved in Charitable Efforts
The NFL site reported that Myra Hiatt Kraft was extremely involved in charitable efforts, including the family foundation. She was on the board of various groups and “she managed the Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation and was president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation.”
A bio on the Kraft Group says, “Robert and Myra Kraft each came from families that taught and practiced the principles of philanthropy. Fifty years ago, they began their own mission of philanthropy and taught their children the importance and value of giving back. Today, with more than $400 million in donations from the Kraft family and their foundations, the power of philanthropy has been felt by youth and families around the world by assisting programs that foster cultural diversity, education, family and health.”
Telegram reported before she died: “Kraft is a professional, no-nonsense leader in the New England Patriots organization who doesn’t suffer fools lightly. But she’s also a great philanthropist who doesn’t just write a tax-deductible contribution, but provides her time and name-recognition to the people and causes that are close to her heart.”
“You have to be passionate and really care. You can’t just do something because it’s the politically correct thing to do,” Kraft said to the site.
4. The Krafts Had Four Children Together
The Krafts had multiple children together. “Devoted mother of Jonathan and his wife Patti, Daniel and his wife Wendy, Joshua and his wife Carolyn Kraft and David Kraft,” reads her obituary.
All of the relationships have not been without conflict. David Kraft, Robert Kraft’s youngest son, “is fighting a move by his father’s trustee, Richard Morse, to shift the assets of the family trust into a new trust,” the Boston Business Journal reported in 2013.
The Business Journal Explained: “David Kraft had worked at The Kraft Group, the family empire that includes the New England Patriots. He left the company last fall, apparently amid a dispute with his father. He subsequently hired a law firm to pursue his portion of the trust, set up in 1982 by Robert and the late Myra Kraft to benefit their four sons.”
His son, Jonathan Kraft, is President of the Kraft Group, the family’s company. The family website says of Jonathan Kraft: “Upon graduation from Williams College in 1986, Jonathan started his career at Bain & Co. After earning his MBA at Harvard Business School, he joined the Kraft Group in 1990. Since that time, he has worked to help drive the growth and diversification of the Kraft Group. In his role as President, Jonathan is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of each of the Kraft Group’s operating businesses and outlining the plan for future growth and diversification.”
Josh Kraft, the other son, “serves as the President of the New England Patriots Foundation, where he oversees all aspects of the Foundation’s community outreach programs and fundraising efforts,” the website says.
“Through his leadership, the Foundation has expanded its reach and impact in the New England community. In 2015, the Foundation made donations to more than 1,500 nonprofit organizations and coordinated more than 400 appearances by current and former Patriots players across New England.”
As for Daniel Kraft, says the website, “Daniel Kraft is President – International for the Kraft Group and serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of International Forest Products LLC (IFP), the Kraft Group’s international trading company that markets paper, pulp and solid wood products to more than 90 countries worldwide. Dan’s father, Robert, founded IFP in 1972 primarily as a trader/exporter of containerboard grades of paper. Dan assumed management responsibility of the company in 1997 and has expanded the company through diversification into various other forest product commodities and geographic regions. Today, IFP is one of the world’s largest trading companies.”
5. Myra Kraft Was the Daughter of a Prominent Businessman & Kraft Has Dated Since Her Death
Myra Kraft was the daughter of a Massachusetts businessman named Jacob Hiatt. “Born and raised in Worcester with her sister, Janice, Myra is the daughter of the late Jacob and Frances (Lavine) Hiatt – as in the Jacob Hiatt Magnet School, the Frances L. and Jacob Hiatt Learning Center at the Jewish Community Center and the Frances and Jacob Hiatt Holocaust Collection, a wing in the College of the Holy Cross’s Dinand Library,” Telegram reported before she died.
“Her father was Jacob Hiatt, who emigrated from Lithuania in 1935. His parents, sisters, and brother remained behind and perished in the Holocaust,” reports JWA.org. Robert Kraft initially worked for his father-in-law at the Rand-Whitney Group into International Forest Products, the site notes.
As for Kraft’s love life since Myra died – it’s complicated.
Since his wife died, Robert Kraft has basically been linked to only one woman. However, Robert Kraft’s love life is complicated. In fact, it’s so complicated that People Magazine reported that she had a baby and Kraft denied that the child was his.
According to People, in March, 2018, Kraft’s spokesperson told the magazine: “Last fall, Ricki Noel Lander became the proud mother of a beautiful, healthy baby.”
The spokesperson continued to People: “While Robert Kraft is not the biological father, he is thrilled with Ricki’s blessing of having a healthy child. With respect to her family’s privacy, we will not be commenting any further.”
People Magazine reported that the couple had dated for five years and remained together. Ricki Lander is 39 years younger than Robert Kraft. You can read more about her here. Over the years, there have been reports that the couple broke up, supposedly because Kraft didn’t want to get married again, although that was never proven.
Lander is a dancer, model and actress.