I first wrote about Mayo Shattuck ’76 and his wife Molly 8 years ago. Below is a very slightly edited version of that post. See the original comment thread for lots of fun discussion. There has been news about Molly recently, which I will cover on Monday.
Back in 2008, we were getting a lot of Google hits for “Mayo Shattuck wife”. Our (innocuous) page was #3. The reason was this New York Times article on the search for the next NFL commissioner. Shattuck ’76 was one of the five finalists (although the fix seems was in for the internal candidate).
If the owners of National Football League teams agree to hire Mayo A. Shattuck III as the league’s commissioner this week, he would have to resign his current job — and his wife, Molly, might have to quit hers, too.
Mr. Shattuck, 51, is the C.E.O. of the Constellation Energy Group, a Baltimore-based utility that is being acquired by the FPL Group. Mrs. Shattuck, 39, is a cheerleader for her husband’s favorite N.F.L. team, the Baltimore Ravens.
He would forfeit as much as $23 million of cash and stock in postmerger compensation, but could earn as much as $8 million a year as commissioner. She presumably earns a lot less for shaking her pompoms.
D’oh! Hot Blonde Cheerleader for Baltimore Ravens is Actually 38-Year-Old Married Mother of Three – Molly Shattuck is not your average NFL cheerleader. Yes, she’s a perky blonde in great shape, but she also happens to be about 15 years older than most of the other woman on the squad, married and the mother of three. Molly Shattuck also happens to be the trophy–I mean second–wife of Mayo Shattuck, 50, the chief executive of Constellation Energy, a Baltimore-based Fortune 500 company. (Mayo reportedly still has strong corporate ties to the Ravens, helped sell the team to its present owners in the late 1990s while serving as the president of the investment bank Alex Brown.) By all accounts Molly earned a spot on the squad fair and square, based on her good looks and athletic ability (she comes from a long line of cheerleaders) not using her last name on the application form to get any kind of special treatment from the judges when she tried out last March. Now, in addition to running after her kids (all under the age of six), does Martha Stewart-style home crafts by the truckload, hosts elaborate fundraisers . . . and dances around is a crop top and short shorts for thousands of drooling Ravens fans each weekend.
“Trophy wife” is interesting terminology. Shattuck’s first wife, an Eph, is about 13 years older than his second. Very rich men, like Shattuck, seem to have a habit of marrying second wives that are much younger than their first. Wonder why? You can bet that our web searchers want to find pictures of wife #2 and not wife #1. Here is what they are looking for.
Creepiest picture ever on EphBlog or just an artifact from a culture with practices different from our own? You be the judge!
I wanted to write a much longer post on this topic for a long time but lack the eloquence and empathy for the task. See Professor Sam Crane on marriage as duty.
Duty is not a popular idea in contemporary America: it tends to be overwhelmed by notions of fun and self-interest and frolic in our youth-oriented, celebrity-driven popular culture. But, beyond the bright lights and front pages, duty is what defines the lives of most Americans. We discover ourselves in our committed actions toward others, most often family members but also neighbors and community groups and ideals larger than ourselves.
Sam has been married for more than 30 years. (Congratulations!) Shattuck did not make it that far in his first marriage and, I’d wager, is unlikely to make it that far in his second. (Does anyone know the divorce statistics on second marriages? On second marriages in which there is a 10+ year age difference? On such marriages for rich men who are under 50?)
Of course, this might not be Shattuck’s fault. Goodness knows that I have female acquaintances who have ended marriages for reasons that seemed (to me) shallow. Perhaps wife #1 insisted on a divorce despite his pleas to try to work things out. Perhaps he wanted to seek marriage counseling and she refused. In any event, he ended up with someone a decade younger and, probably, much less intelligent. (This might be unfair to wife #2 but her educational background does not scream out “Intellectual!”)
Apologies for the cruelty. There is a tendency for Ephs to value the things that got us into Williams, that mattered to our parents and professors: intellectual accomplishment and ambition. Who is to say that brains are more important than beauty, in a person or in a wife? No doubt my feminist friends regularly decry the habit of rich men to discard their wives for younger, better-looking women. Should we lament this example? Could you begrudge Mayo and Molly some happiness after reading this?
The coming football season will be the first in seven years that Shattuck isn’t expecting a baby or nursing one. Motherhood has been a struggle for her since her first pregnancy, when she went into pre-term labor at a Ravens game. Although she has borne three healthy children, she has miscarried five times. After months of bed rest and the birth of her youngest child, 2-year-old Lillian, she decided not to have more.
Shattuck needed something to take her mind off this unfamiliar sense of emptiness. She considered law school, or mountain climbing.
Instead, she found happiness in a 9-inch purple skirt.
We all find happiness in different places. Could any reader of EphBlog deny Molly hers? Perhaps. Consider Linda Hirshman’s observation that the choices some women make affect the options of others. And look what happens in the skybox.
In the Constellation Energy skybox last week, Mayo Shattuck managed to look both forlorn and delighted, switching from camcorder to digital camera to brand-new binoculars as he searched for a figure four stories down and half a football field away. He could just make out her face above a pair of churning pompoms.
“Just watch,” he said. “That smile will never come off.”
He was grinning pretty hard himself, flanked by executive buddies, some casting hopeful glances at their own wives.
Hmmm. And what glances did those wives cast in return? The choices that Molly Shattuck makes affect more than just her own life and those of her family. Her choices affect all of us. The wives of those executives are unlikely to be cheerleader material, just as their husbands would not stand a chance at linebacker. But Molly’s choice changes the framework in which those executives think about the meaning of “wife” or, perhaps more distressingly, “second wife.”
You can be sure that some of the cheerleaders on Molly’s squad would welcome the chance to live her life, to marry a man who might provide for them in the manner in which Mayo provides for her. Those cheerleaders, many of whom did not go to college and almost all of whom went to colleges unlike those attended by Mayo’s “executive buddies,” deserve a chance at the happiness they see in Molly. Perhaps she could introduce them to some of the men in the skybox.
All of which raises the question: Who introduced Molly and Mayo?
Molly Shattuck became her husband’s second wife in 1997, a few years after meeting him at Alex. Brown, where she worked in marketing.
Hmmm. This sentence calls for some deconstruction. Shattuck had been president of Alex Brown since 1991, when his son Mayo ’03 and daughter Kathleen ’05 were 10 and 8. Does a “few years” mean back to 1991, when Shattuck first moved to Baltimore? Consider this tidbit.
But Shattuck also learned that life in the limelight meant his private life would be fodder for the media and water cooler talk. A 1995 Baltimore Sun article reported his divorce from his first wife Jennifer after nearly 20 years of marriage and suggested that his busy schedule hampered his family life. Shattuck remarried in 1997 to Molly George Shattuck, who used to be director of the Pikesville Sylvan Learning Center.
“Busy schedule” huh? Well, something/someone was doing some hampering. Why do I think that the Sun article reported more than this? Note that this Business Journal puff-piece omits the fact that Molly used to work at Alex Brown. Call me suspicious, but I think that this omission tells us something about when Molly and Mayo met. Hint: It was before Mayo’s divorce in 1995. My speculation ends there, but perhaps a reader with access to Nexis could provide the 1995 Sun article.
Perhaps this explains how Molly and Mayo met.
Best Move: When she was still working as a marketing assistant, walking out of an office backwards while talking to a colleague – and almost literally sweeping stranger Mayo of his feet. “I met him by running into him,” she says. “I almost knocked the guy over.”
Marketing assistant meets company president. A classic love story.
Mayo seems to have no regrets.
“Suddenly”, says her 50-year-old husband, “I’m married to an NFL Cheerleader! How good is that?”
Not as good, I think, as being married to the woman you met at Williams, the women you promised to love and to cherish until death do you part. But there is a problem in the land of how-good-is-that.
She’s received national attention for being one of the oldest cheerleaders in the NFL, and now 38-year-old Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck is hanging up her pom-poms and saying goodbye to the job she made her professional career.
Looks like Mayo and his executive buddies will no longer be able to oogle Molly from the comfort of the skybox. Age, alas, catches up with all of us eventually. Fortunately, there are other, younger, cheerleaders, at least some of whom would like to meet a man like Mayo, would like to spend some time in his world. How good is that, indeed? If I were Molly, I would take care that no marketing assistants, much less cheerleaders, “run into” Mayo anytime soon.
In any event, I am not up to the task of a good post. Perhaps some of our readers are. What duties do Eph husbands and wives owe to each other? What duties do we all owe to spouse #1? What do you tell friends who are thinking of divorce?
Those were my thoughts 8 years ago. Come back Monday for an update.