Frank Gifford, former New York Giants player and husband of Kathie Lee Gifford, passed away this morning in his Connecticut home. He was 84.
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“It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved husband, father and friend, Frank Gifford,” the family said in a statement.
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“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 was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. He played the entirety of his 12-year NFL career for the New York Giants. In 1956, Gifford led his team to a championship game win over the Chicago Bears and won the league’s MVP award.
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“Frank Gifford was the ultimate Giant. He was the face of our franchise for so many years,” Giants president John Mara said in a statement. “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.”
The Giants also wrote in an Instagram post in tribute to Gifford, along with a touching popular Giants phrase: “Once a Giant, always a Giant.”
After his on-field career, Gifford had a successful career as an NFL commentator, as a play-by-play announcer for ABC’s Monday Night Football.
Gifford married Kathie Lee in 1986. The couple had two children together, Cody and Cassidy. Gifford also had three children, Jeff, Kyle and Victoria, from his first marriage with Maxine Avis Ewart.
Kathlie Lee tweeted that she was “deeply grateful” for the outpouring of support, and that the family is “finding comfort in knowing where Frank is.”
The TODAY family shared their condolences on social media.