Fred Wilpon’s wife Judy Wilpon has been with him for a long time. The couple met in college back in the mid 1950’s and they’ve been together ever since. Despite having kids, by far the most interesting aspect of the Wilpons is that they were closely acquainted with Bernie Madoff. According to an article in the New Yorker that detailed the relationship between Fred and Bernie, The Wilpon’s headlined one of the largest groups of Madoff investors. I’d recommend that to any serious sports fan interested in the Mets owner’s past. In a nutshell, Fred Wilpon’s company lost $550 million overnight. Actually, the whole thing put Fred Wilpon’s reputation at stake because he was witch-hunted as an “enabler,” and while I don’t think he was but that’s a debate for another place.
Judy met Fred in Ann Arbor during college at Michigan, and she was with him when his baseball career ended after busting up his arm. The couple now give money every year to underwrite dozens of scholarships to Michigan. That led them back to New York where Judy worked as a secretary and Fred worked as a salesman door-to-door selling calculators (ooh boy fun!). Fred Wilpon’s wife was then interested in moving up and getting a better job and Fred somehow convinced the former president of the Brooklyn Dodgers to hire Judy as his secretary. That former president was helping to form a new ball club, which would eventually be called The Mets. Judy left the job a few years later to become a housewife and raise some kids. They’ve since had two sons and a daughter.
Judy’s still a huge Mets fan. She watches every game, and she retained her love of the team from her days working for their president all those years ago. Of course, since Fred is the majority owner of the team and has been for a very, very long time, she’s always had a close relationship to them. Fred Wilpon’s wife celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary sometime in the mid 2000’s, and the New Yorker article details how that is where Sandy Koufax met Bernie Madoff. Sandy Koufax, coincidentally, is the same age as Fred and Judy Wilpon, and the couple are good friends with him. Koufax said he doesn’t believe Fred Wilpon would ever do anything unethical.