In a statement released today, his family said Gifford died suddenly at his Connecticut home of natural causes this morning. He was 84.
Gifford was a star on both offense and defense in an era when NFL players were starting to specialize. He was the centerpiece of a Giants offense that went to five NFL title games in the 1950s and ’60s and was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1956 when he led the New York Giants to a league championship.
“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,” his family said in the statement. “We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time and we thank you for your prayers.”
Gifford went on to a successful second career as a broadcaster on “Monday Night Football starting in 1971 as first a play-by-play announcer and then as an analyst. Through the years he continued to be active in the sports world on programs like Wide World of Sports. He also covered several Olympics.
Gifford is survived by wife Kathie Lee Gifford, currently the fourth-hour co-host of NBC’s Today, and their two children, Cody, 25 and Cassidy, 22, as well as three children, Jeff, Kyle and Victoria, from a previous marriage. After announcing his death, Kathie Lee Tweeted a thank you to fans for their outpouring of support.
SOURCE: People, Mashable, Twitter, NBC
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