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Frank Gifford, NFL Star And Kathie Lee’s Husband, Passes Away At Age 84

Brad Barket, Getty Images

Sad news from the household of American TV personality and Today co-host Kathie Lee Gifford—today, Kathie Lee’s husband, NFL Hall of Famer and famed sportscaster Frank Gifford, passed away at the age of 84.

A statement released by the Gifford family today confirms that the TV and sports icon died of natural causes early Sunday morning. Gifford passed away in his Connecticut home. This is the statement his family has released:

“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.”

Gifford, of course, will surely be remembered for his long, celebrated career. In the 1950s, he rose to fame as a football star, playing with the New York Giants for the duration of his 12-year NFL career, leading the team to win the Super Bowl in 1956 and earning the NFL’s MVP award. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

Frank Gifford, one of the greatest to wear a #Giants uniform passed away today. "Once a Giant, always a Giant"

A photo posted by New York Giants (@nygiants) on

A statement released by New York Giants president John Mara today lauded the football star’s career and his impact on the league. “Frank Gifford was the ultimate Giant. He was the face of our franchise for so many years,” Mara said. “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.”

Aside from his career on the football field, Gifford also rose to fame as a beloved TV personality. He became a play-by-play announcer on ABC’s iconic Monday Night Football program, as well as a revered NFL commentator. He also interviewed many top sports figures over his TV career, including legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. His work on TV also included non-sportscasting gigs, making appearances on various TV shows and films, like Coach, What’s My Line?, and Jerry Maguire.

Kathie Lee and Frank were married for 29 years and had two children together, along with co-parenting three children from Frank’s previous marriage. This afternoon, the Today show personality tweeted that she is “deeply grateful” for all the love and support that has been sent her way:

Sending lots of love to Kathie Lee, and rest in peace, Frank—you will certainly be remembered for your spirit and legacy!

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