Gayle Benson: A Life of Business, Philanthropy, and Sports

Gayle Benson is an American billionaire, businesswoman, and sports franchise owner who has made her mark in the world of business, philanthropy, and sports. Born Gayle Marie LaJaunie Bird in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 26, 1947, she has built a successful career as an interior designer and entrepreneur, while also playing a prominent role in her husband’s business ventures and becoming the owner of two major sports franchises.

Early Life and Education

Gayle Benson grew up in New Orleans, where she attended Archbishop Rummel High School and later graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in business administration. She married Tom Benson in 2004, and the couple became a prominent force in the city’s business and philanthropic circles.

Business Career

Gayle Benson has a long and distinguished career in business. She began her career as an interior designer, working on a variety of commercial and residential projects. In 1985, she founded Gayle Benson & Associates, a successful interior design firm that has worked on some of the most prestigious projects in New Orleans, including the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the New Orleans Museum of Art.


Gayle Benson is a dedicated philanthropist who has generously supported a wide range of causes in New Orleans and beyond. She is a board member of the Benson Foundation, which provides grants to educational, medical, and social service organizations. She is also a major donor to the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Audubon Institute, and the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.

Sports Ownership

In 2018, following the death of her husband, Gayle Benson became the owner of the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL) and the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). She is the first woman to be the majority shareholder of the voting stock in both an NFL and NBA franchise.

Net Worth

Gayle Benson is estimated to have a net worth of over $3.6 billion. She is one of the richest women in Louisiana and one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in the United States.

Social Media Presence

Gayle Benson is active on social media, with over 10,000 followers on Twitter. She uses her platform to share news about her business ventures, philanthropic activities, and support for the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans.

Personal Life

Gayle Benson is married to Tom Benson, who died in 2018. The couple had no children together.


Gayle Benson is a remarkable woman who has achieved great success in business, philanthropy, and sports. She is a role model for women and girls everywhere, and her legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.