Linda Marie Edwards-McMahon (born October 4, 1948) is a co-founder and former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment. She has been actively involved in several wrestling storylines. She is married to Vince McMahon, who is Chairman of WWE. Her children, Shane B. McMahon and Stephanie McMahon, are also involved in the operations of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
Linda McMahon frequently speaks at various media and entertainment corporate events, and she has been involved in Connecticut's Republican Party. She was appointed by Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell to the Connecticut State Board of Education in 2009. McMahon is currently a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, against Democratic Senator Chris Dodd in 2010.
Early life, education and achievements
McMahon is an only child, brought up in a small town in North Carolina. She attended East Carolina University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in French and certified to teach.
McMahon met her future husband Vince McMahon at church, when he was 16 and she was 13. After dating in high school, they married on August 6, 1966, before she graduated college.
McMahon and her husband Vince have two children -- Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon-Levesque -- that are both executives at WWE.
McMahon became a member of the Board of Trustees of Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, Connecticut) in November 2004. She supports many organizations, including the USO, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the Starlight Foundation, and Community Mayors. In 2005, she won appointment to The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America National Advisory Council and was presented the Arthur M. Sackler Award from the Connecticut Grand Opera and Orchestra for WWE's support of its arts education program. McMahon is also responsible for the creation of WWE's Get R.E.A.L. educational and literacy programs and WWE's SmackDown! Your Vote! campaign.
On January 29, 2007, Multichannel News named McMahon to its class of "Wonder Women" for 2007. The award recognized her outstanding contributions to the cable and telecommunications industries. In May 2007, she appeared as the keynote speaker at the Girl Scout Council of Southwestern Connecticut’s Women of Achievement Leadership Breakfast. As a former Girl Scout herself, she encouraged all Girl Scouts to improve their communities.
McMahon has served since 1999 on the Board of Directors of WWE (known until 2002 as the World Wrestling Federation or WWF). In addition, she has extensive involvement with the charitable work of WWE. In May 1993, McMahon became the President of the WWF, a job she kept until May 2000, and would later become the CEO of the company in May 1997.
Linda McMahon was made President in 1993 during the federal investigation of WWF steroid use. During the trial, it was revealed that Linda had knowingly fired the WWF's staff doctor, Dr. Zahorian in 1991 because of mounting attention by the government. Prosecutor Sean O'Shea had produced a memo written by Linda to Pat Patterson, an employee, ordering him to fire the involved doctor out of fear of an imminent investigation by the Justice Department.
SmackDown! Your Vote campaign
Linda McMahon initiated World Wrestling Entertainment's non-partisan voter registration campaign, Smackdown! Your Vote, in August 2000. The campaign specifically targeted the 18-to-30 year-old voter demographic, making use of online marketing, public service announcements, and youth voting partnerships. The campaign, which registered 150,000 new voters during the 2000 election, was started in coalition with MTV's Choose or Lose, Project Vote Smart, and Youth Vote 2000. As of the 2008 election, it lists fourteen different partners in its voter registration efforts.
Main article: On-screen roles of Linda McMahon
During her career at the WWE, McMahon has participated in several on-screen roles.
Connecticut Board of Education
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell appointed McMahon to the Connecticut Board of Education in 2009. She was nominated in the State Senate by a vote of 34-1 and the House by 96-45.
2010 U.S. Senate election
Main article: United States Senate election in Connecticut, 2010
In August 2009, a spokesperson for the WWE stated that McMahon is considering a run as a Republican candidate for the 2010 Connecticut Senate race for the seat currently held by Democrat Chris Dodd. Her campaign contributions, dating back to 1990, included donations to Republicans and Democrats, including donations to Sen. Joe Lieberman in 2006, and Rahm Emanuel in 2008. McMahon also donated to the Republican Majority for Choice in 2006, a Political Action Committee favoring abortion rights and the 'Big Tent' appeal of the GOP.
Linda McMahon formally announced her candidacy on the morning of September 16, 2009. Her husband has formally assumed her duties as CEO effective immediately.