Frank Gifford — famed sportscaster, NFL legend and husband to Today Show co-anchor, Kathie Lee Gifford — died on Sunday at age 84.
The Gifford family released a statement regarding his death, saying:
“It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved husband, father and friend, Frank Gifford. Frank died suddenly this beautiful Sunday morning of natural causes at his Connecticut home. We rejoice in the extraordinary life he was privileged to live, and we feel grateful and blessed to have been loved by such an amazing human being. We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time and we thank you for your prayers.”
Frank played 12 years in the NFL for the New York Giants. Back in 1956 he led the team to a Super Bowl championship over the Chicago Bears and won the NFL’s MVP award. He was a very well-known and successful broadcaster after retiring from playing. He was also inducted into the Pro Football Hame of Fame in 1977.
John Mara, Giants President, released a statement saying:
“Frank Gifford was the ultimate Giant. He was the face of our franchise for so many years. More importantly, he was a treasured member of our family. My father loved him like a son and was proud to act as his presenter for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a favor Frank returned years later by presenting my father in Canton. For my siblings and me, Frank was like a revered older brother whom we looked up to and admired. We loved him and will miss him terribly.”
Steve Tisch, Giants Chairman, said:
“Not only was Frank a member of the Giants family from the time he left USC, and will be forever, but because Frank, my father (Bob) and Pete Rozelle were so close in the ’60s, I felt like he was a member of my family. I always loved seeing Frank on our sideline before our games. He had the handshake of a 25-year old, and he looked you right in the eye with his big blue eyes. He was such a strong person in every way. He will be missed and will always be remembered as a Giants’ Giant.”
Photo by Steve Mack/Getty Images
Frank Gifford was survived by his wife, Kathie Lee (who he married in 1986) and their two children, Cody (25) and Cassidy (22). He also had three older children (Jeff, Kyle and Victoria) from his first marriage to Maxine Avis Ewart (his college sweetheart), as well as five grandchildren.