Linda Marie McMahon (née Edwards; born October 4, 1948) is an American professional wrestling magnate and current politician. She is notable for her career developing WWE with her husband Vince McMahon. McMahon was active with WWE, renamed from the original WWF in 2002, from 1980 to 2009. During this time, the company grew from a small regional business in New York to a large multinational. McMahon and her husband became wealthy through the WWE's success, and the McMahon family name is now synonymous with the wrestling industry. As President and later CEO of the company, she negotiated business deals, launched wrestling merchandise, signed wrestler contracts, and managed and wrote for WWE publications. She also started the company's civic programs, Get REAL and Smackdown Your Vote. McMahon occasionally made on-screen appearances, most notably in a wrestling feud with her husband which climaxed at WrestleMania X-Seven.
She left WWE in 2009 to run unsuccessfully for a seat in the United States Senate from Connecticut, losing to Democratic Party nominee Richard Blumenthal in the general election of 2010. McMahon was the 2012 Republican nominee for Connecticut's other Senate seat to replace retiring Senator Joe Lieberman in the general election in November 2012, but lost again, this time to Democratic Representative Chris Murphy.
In December 2016, Donald Trump, following his successful election as President of the United States, nominated McMahon to serve as the new Administrator of the Small Business Administration. She was confirmed by the full Senate on February 14, 2017, with a vote of 81–19.
Unlike her husband and children, Linda's on screen character is normally presented as neutral, rational, and selfless. When she makes an appearance, she will often use her "power" to thwart the plans of her family or to punish a heel. However, in October 2005, she briefly turn turned heel to join with her "evil" family members.
McMahon feuded with Vince throughout mid-1999. At one point, she and Stephanie supposedly gave their WWF stock to Stone Cold Steve Austin, granting him a great deal of power. Austin lost these powers to Vince and Shane McMahon in a handicap ladder match.
In 2000, McMahon forced Triple H to defend the WWF Championship at WrestleMania 2000 in a "Fatal Four-Way Elimination Match." She also reinstated Mick Foley (whom Triple H had forced to retire) and acted as his manager at WrestleMania. Throughout 2000, she was the only McMahon not to support Triple H and was slapped by Stephanie, as a result. At Backlash 2000, she led referee Earl Hebner to ringside during a match between Triple H and The Rock with Shane as the guest referee, after Stone Cold had come to the ring and knocked out Triple H and Shane. Hebner counted the pin, costing Triple H the WWF Championship.
Later, Mick Foley returned to the WWF as Commissioner with the blessing of McMahon. At the same time, Vince McMahon went on a hiatus, claiming that he had realized why McMahon was opposing him - she wanted another baby. Dubbing himself the "genetic jackhammer," Vince left for several months.
Vince returned to the WWF and began campaigning to have an upcoming six way Hell in a Cell match cancelled because he feared that his "investments" (the participants) would be injured. On December 7 2000, he asked Commissioner Foley to cancel the match, but Foley refused. McMahon backed Foley, and an outraged Vince demanded a divorce. The following week, Vince was informed that McMahon had been rushed to the hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown. He initially appeared grief-stricken, but then revealed that he was actually overjoyed at the news. With Linda in a sanitarium, the Board of Directors appointed Vince as CEO on December 18, allowing him to fire Mick Foley.
With McMahon apparently coma tose as a result of her breakdown and the sedatives that Vince ordered to be administered, Vince began having a very public affair with Trish Stratus. This led to Shane returning to defend his mother's honor and challenging Vince to a street fight at WrestleMania X-Seven. Before the event, Foley returned with a pile of contracts which Linda had signed before her breakdown, one of which entitled him to referee any match of his choosing. Foley decided to referee the WrestleMania street fight. At WrestleMania, with McMahon at ringside in a wheelchair, Vince appeared to be winning after Shane injured himself by executing a flying elbow drop on Vince while Vince was unconscious on the announcers' table. However, Stephanie dragged Vince out of the way before Shane landed. Once Stephanie had been removed from ringside by a now-face Stratus and after Vince prepared to finish Shane off by hitting him with a trash can, McMahon stood up, apparently no longer sedated, and kicked Vince in the groin. The distraction allowed Shane to defeat Vince.
On April 9 2001, McMahon resumed her duties as CEO and asked Vince for a divorce. She harassed Vince over the next few months, forcing Vince's chosen champion Steve Austin to defend the WWF Championship and supporting Shane McMahon and World Championship Wrestling, which he had just purchased. Vince and Linda would reconcile, however, in October 2001 when they realized that The Alliance of WCW and ECW (purchased by Stephanie McMahon) was going to attempt to destroy the WWF.
On March 18 2002, Linda announced that WWE would be divided into two brands RAW and SmackDown!, as a result of the rivalry between Vince and Ric Flair, whom prior to the Invasion storyline had bought Shane's and Stephanie's shares in WWE to equal the power of Vince. On April 28 2003, Linda McMahon confronted RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff after he [booked Trish Stratus in a match with himself, where Stratus would be forced to sleep with Bischoff if she lost. To balance the presence of Bischoff, Linda appointed Steve Austin as the co-General Manager of RAW.
After Austin had allowed Kane to burn Jim Ross, Linda returned to WWE on July 21 to tell Austin that he could not attack anyone unless "physically provoked." Kane tombstoned Linda at the end of RAW, injuring her neck and infuriating Shane. While Linda was giving an interview from her home on August 18 2003, Bischoff appeared, seemingly with amorous intentions, but was removed by security guards.
Linda accompanied her daughter Stephanie to ringside for her October 19 2003 "I Quit" match at No Mercy 2003. When Stephanie was choked by Vince with a pipe, Linda threw a towel into the ring, conceding defeat.
On December 1 2003, Linda once again reinstated Mick Foley, this time appointing him as an "Outside Consultant" to RAW in order to monitor Eric Bischoff. Foley eventually resigned from his post during a heated feud with Randy Orton.
On October 10, 2005, Linda's character took a surprise villainous turn when she "fired" Jim Ross and delivered a low-blow to him. Apparently, a Stone Cold Stunner that she had suffered a week earlier on RAW (by Austin, during WWE Homecoming) set her on edge. Linda's heel turn was hinted at Homecoming a week prior, when she asked Austin to apologize for having just giving the other members of her family stunners. Austin complied but then, after inviting her to drink a beer with him, gave her a Stone Cold Stunner, as well. She is one of seven women who have been given a stunner by Austin. The others are Chyna, Stephanie McMahon, Molly Holly, Mae Young, Lita, and Stacy Keibler. On the broadcast, Vince McMahon called each of the RAW announcers - Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, and Jonathan Coachman - to the ring to reprimand them for their lack of action during Austin's rampage against the McMahon family a week earlier. McMahon accepted apologies from Coachman and Lawler but would not accept Ross'. After Vince demanded that Ross apologize to Stephanie, Linda came to the ring, seemingly to admonish Vince and Stephanie for their treatment of Ross, only to fire Ross instead. Linda cemented herself as a villainess by kicking Ross between the legs, and all three McMahons in the ring gleefully celebrated as Ross writhed in pain on the mat.
The following week on RAW, during the "Carlito's Cabana" segment (which featured Mick Foley as Carlito's guest), Linda appeared on the titantron in pre-taped footage. While professional in demeanor in explaining Ross' termination, the evil Linda continued displaying her heel persona by evoking a sinister snicker and wicked smile when telling Foley to "Have a nice day!"
Linda returned to RAW on August 13 2007 when she announced that Vince was (kayfabe) kicked out of her home due to his summons for an illegitimate child. The storyline featured Vince claiming that his family was "all about the money." On the taped episode of RAW that aired on September 3, 2007, Linda returned with Stephanie and Shane to confront Vince on RAW. They have apparently turned face once more and told Vince that they were not against him but behind him and urged him to get help because as Stephanie put it, Vince was sick.
She is the mother of WWE executives Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon-Levesque and the mother-in-law of their respective spouses Marissa Mazzola-McMahon and Paul Levesque ("Triple H"). She has two grandsons and two granddaughters - Shane and Marissa's sons: Declan James, who was born on February 13 2004 and Kenyon "Kenney" Jesse, who was born on March 26 2006, and Stephanie and Triple H's daughters Aurora Rose Levesque born on July 24 2006 and Murphy Claire Levesque born on July 28 2008.
Organizations, foundations, and charity work
Linda was named to the Board of Trustees of Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, Connecticut) in November 2004.
Linda is a major supporter of many organizations including the USO, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, The Starlight Foundation, and Community Mayors. In 2005, she was appointed to The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America National Advisory Council and was presented the Arthur M. Sackler Award from the Connecticut Grand Opera and Orchestra for WWE's support of its arts education program.
On January 29 2007, Multichannel News named Linda McMahon to its class of "Wonder Women" for 2007. The award recognizes her outstanding contributions to the cable and telecommunications industries. In May 2007, Linda was the keynote speaker at the Girl Scout Council of Southwestern Connecticut's Women of Achievement Leadership Breakfast.