NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It’s been just over one calendar year since late Saints owner Tom Benson passed away at the age of 90.
For his wife, Gayle Benson, it still hurts.
“I’m still a little emotional," Benson said as she held back tears to local reporters. "I’m still a little emotional when I see some of the things. Every once in a while I get kind of - when they show my husband’s picture again. But, I’m better.”
Last year, the NFL owners meeting in Orlando were her first as sole owner of the team. This year she’s a bit more at ease in Phoenix.
She’s stepped to the forefront as the face of both the Saints and Pelicans and developed a quiet confidence as leader of both the organizations her husband entrusted her to run. And she’s taking everything that comes her way in stride.
“You know, Tom taught me a lot in the 14 years that we were married, and now I’m just learning more. Every day is a new adventure. I feel like I’m learning more every day," Benson said. “I was in those committee meetings for 14 years with my husband. But it’s different now and I’m enjoying it.”
For those who work for her, they see the same commitment and passion for her role as her husband had. That’s why they’ve embraced her as their leader and have no doubt the same success will remain.
“She gives us the resources and the liberty to do our jobs," said team president Dennis Lauscha. " So we’re all working for her. I think part of Mr. Benson‘s legacy was the correct decision to get Mrs. Benson to be our owner, because I can tell you she’s done such a phenomenal job. And she truly has a passion for the city. She truly has a passion for the fans. She truly wants to win she truly wants to do the right thing.”