The NFL is mourning the loss of Frank Gifford.
The Pro Football Hall of Famer and New York Giants great died Sunday of natural causes at the age of 84 with the football community remembering him for his contributions on the field as well as in the booth as a member of the Monday Night Football broadcast team.
Gifford played with the Giants from 1952-1964 — mostly at running back, some at defensive back and one year at wide receiver — helping lead Big Blue to a championship win in 1956 and winning the MVP the same year. He also led the Giants to five more championship games in the next eight years and was also an eight-time Pro Bowl player. To this day, Gifford ranks as the Giants all-time leader in touchdowns.
"Frank Gifford was the ultimate Giant. He was the face of our franchise for so many years," Giants owner John Mara told ESPN. "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."
After his playing career, Gifford made as much impact — if not greater — beside Howard Cosell and Don Meredith as the faces of Monday Night Football's legendary football team. Gifford held that post from 1971-1997. He had been married to television personality Kathie Lee Gifford since 1986.
"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," Gifford's family said in the statement to the media, as reported by ESPN. "We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time and we thank you for your prayers."
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(Photo: AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)
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