Teaching Students About Myra Kraft

Myra Kraft was a remarkable woman who dedicated her life to philanthropy and impacting the lives of others by sharing her wisdom, time, and resources. As an influential philanthropist and visionary leader, she left an indelible mark on the world. Teaching students about Myra Kraft is an essential way to instill values of empathy, generosity, and leadership.

Early Life and Education

Myra Hiatt was born on December 27, 1942, in Worcester, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Jacob Hiatt, a prominent businessman and philanthropist who played a significant role in shaping the future direction of several institutions. Myra attended Brandeis University and graduated in 1964 with a degree in Sociology.

Marriage and Family Life

In 1963, Myra married Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots NFL franchise. Together they raised four sons – Jonathan, Daniel, Joshua, and David. Myra’s strong moral compass was instrumental in guiding not only her family but also the many organizations that she would later be involved with during her lifetime.

Philanthropic Endeavors

Myra Kraft devoted her time and resources to many causes close to her heart. She was a lifelong advocate for social justice, education, healthcare, and arts. Together with her husband, they supported numerous organizations both financially and strategically through their private family foundation. Some notable beneficiaries included the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Brandeis University, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Leadership Positions

Myra served as president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation from its inception in 1994 until her death in 2011. Under her guidance, the foundation donated millions to charities within New England effectively changing thousands of lives.

In addition to her role with the Patriots Foundation, Myra also held leadership positions within several prominent organizations, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. She also served on numerous boards, including Brandeis University, United Way of Massachusetts Bay, and Combined Jewish Philanthropies.


Myra Kraft passed away on July 20, 2011, after a courageous battle with cancer. Her legacy continues through the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program at Brandeis University, a program designed for talented students who have faced educational challenges due to adverse circumstances.

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