Jerry Jones is married to Eugenia “Gene” Jones, an Arkansas native and former beauty queen. Gene Jones, who’s been referred to as the “Mother of the Dallas Cowboys,” is often seen around Dallas at various events, though she has remained fairly private when it comes to her personal life.
Here’s what you need to know about Eugenia “Gene” Jones, Jerry Jones’ wife:
1. Eugenia ‘Gene’ Jones Was Born & Raised in Danville, Arkansas, & Met Jerry Jones at the University of Arkansas
Gene Jones was born Eugenia Chambers and raised in Danville, Arkansas. Gene Jones was an Arkansas Poultry Princess and in 1960, she won the Miss Arkansas USA beauty pageant, Texas Monthly reported, describing her as a “gorgeous small-town banker’s daughter.”
She attended the University of Arkansas, where she met her future husband on a blind date, according to Dallas News. The two went to a state fair with some friends and Jones tried to win his date a teddy bear like his friends were doing for their dates but was unsuccessful. “I tried and tried, but couldn’t,” Jones shared, “so I went behind and bought her one.”
Gene Jones also opened up about that fateful first date with WFAA, sharing, “We went to the county fair and all of the boys were winning little teddy bears, throwing baseballs at little dolls trying to knock them over, and Jerry wasn’t having a lot of luck with that,” she smiled.
“So he disappeared and a little later came right back, carrying the biggest teddy bear at the carnival and wearing a bigger smile on his face,” she continued. “He had gone back behind and bought me a teddy bear. It was the beginning of our relationship, so we married three years later.” They married in 1963.
2. Gene Jones Is Involved in Many Organizations & Has a Special Interest in the Arts
Jones has put his focus on the Cowboys while his wife has been heavily involved in the community, especially in the art sphere. She curated the Dallas Cowboys Art Collection at AT&T Stadium and the Star in Frisco but revealed that she couldn’t name her favorite work of art in the collection. “That is like being asked to name your favorite child or grandchild. The answer is, ‘I love them all!’” she told the Dallas Morning News.
She is also a member of the Southern Methodist University Board of Trustees, on the executive board for the Meadows School for the Arts, and on the board of directors for the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at SMU, according to her bio with the Texas Cultural Trust. Gene Jones is also involved in the art community in Dallas as a member of the executive board of directors and the President’s Advisory Council for the Dallas Center for Performing Arts.
The Joneses are also members of the Dallas Center for the Performance of Arts’ Founding Family Donor Program, becoming members in 2004 after contributing more than $1 million. Beyond her artistic philanthropy, Gene Jones, her husband, and their children are deeply involved in the Salvation Army. The couple opened The Gene and Jerry Jones Family Center for Children in conjunction with Salvation Army offices, which provides programs for children in Irving, Texas.
3. Gene Jones Was the Presenter When Jerry Jones Was Inducted Into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017
Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017 and he chose his wife to be his presenter at the event. The Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager announced the decision in a press release that stated his wife is the “backbone of our family… Her influence guides and inspires all of us. She is my closest advisor, my best friend, and it is only fitting that she present me.”
During his speech at the event, Jones said his wife was his presenter because she was always there for the family and told her, “You’ve kept me between the rails when I didn’t really have the strength to get to the middle.”
Gene Jones opened up about being her husband’s presenter and the moment he learned he would be inducted in a rare interview with WFAA. She said they’d originally wanted their three children to present him but there was a rule limiting presenters to only one person. She described learning that Jones would be inducted into the Hall of Fame as “such a special day.”
“It was amazing, it was more amazing than I expected,” she shared. “We had every member of our family there, all of our kids, all nine of our grandchildren… None of us have ever experienced anything more exciting.”
The Mom of the Dallas Cowboys got emotional as she spoke about Jones getting the team. “I knew Jerry wanted to be involved in sports, he’d loved being an Arkansas Razorback,” she shred. “And it was such an exciting time in our lives, the time we were at the University of Arkansas and he loved the game of football. And when he found out that the Dallas Cowboys were available… he was just thrilled beyond explanation.”
4. Gene & Jerry Jones Have 3 Children Together, Who All Work as Executives in the Dallas Cowboys Front Office, & 9 Grandchildren
Jerry and Gene Jones have three children together and nine grandchildren. Their children, Stephen, Charlotte and Jerry Jr., are all involved in the Cowboys organization. The oldest, Stephen Jones, works as the club’s chief operating officer, the executive vice president, and is the director of player personnel, according to the team’s website.
Stephen Jones, who’s been working with his father from the beginning, “oversees the management operations for all aspects of the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium, while also supervising the team’s scouting and player personnel department,” his Cowboys profile states. Stephen Jones is married to Karen and the couple has four kids together: three daughters named Jessica, Jordan, and Caroline; and a son, John Stephen Jr.
As for his sister Charlotte Jones, she is also an executive vice president and holds the title of chief brand officer. “Recognized as one of the most powerful women in sports, Charlotte Jones was named Chairman of the NFL Foundation in 2012,” her profile indicates. She’s also the president of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders as well as responsible for everything related to the team’s brand, fan engagement, stadium design and more.
Charlotte Jones has three children with her ex-husband Shy Anderson: a daughter named Haley and two sons named Shy Jr. and Paxton.
The youngest of the three Jones children, Jerry Jones Jr., is an executive vice president as well as the chief sales and marketing officer. In his position, Jones Jr. “leads a team that is not only responsible for the sales and marketing of the club, but also its vast merchandising business as well as all digital and broadcast media.” He and his wife Lori Lemon Jones have two children together, James Alexander and Mary Chambers.
5. Gene Jones Has Shared That Family Is What’s Most Important to Her & Jerry Jones
Family is very important for Jerry and Gene Jones, who have nine grandchildren. Gene Jones described their long marriage as a “rollercoaster,” she told WFAA. “It’s been great,” she added, “I wouldn’t change, I really wouldn’t change a day of it. You look around, we have nine beautiful grandchildren and every holiday, we’re all together. He’s all in about family.”
“I’ll never forget when the kids were young, Jerry introduced me to a business friend and they were like, ‘Does Jerry play golf or what’s his hobby?’” she recalled in the same interview. “And I’m like, ‘I think it’s our kids.’ And that’s what both of our hobbies have been.”
Their eldest son, Stephen Jones, said his parents were very present despite their high-profile position in Dallas. “The greatest gift my mom and dad gave me as parents was time on the job,” he told the Dallas Morning News. “I’ve loved them forever for it.” He said it was something he carried on to his children with his wife, Karen. “I coached every one of [my children],” he said. “When the girls did soccer and basketball, I was the head coach for each one of them.”
The Joneses’ daughter Charlotte agreed with her older brother’s assessment, explaining to the publication, “My mom and dad stressed the importance of family. It was family first. At dance recitals and school events, my parents were always there. They gave us the gift of their presence.”