Today my fond childhood memories of watching Frank Gifford look like he’d rather be getting an unanesthetized root canal than sitting through another syrupy Christmas ballad during Kathie Lee: Home For Christmas just got a whole lot sadder. NBC News says that NFL legend and Kathie Lee Gifford’s husband of 29 years died this morning. Frank Gifford was 84. Frank’s family released the following statement about Frank’s death:
“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 Gifford leaves behind five children (three with his first wife and two with Kathie Lee), and five grandchildren.
I know very little about football, but I do know that Frank Gifford was a pretty big deal. Frank played 12 seasons with the New York Giants and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. Once he was done playing football, he became a football commentator, first for CBS, then for Monday Night Football until 1997. Around the same time, Kathie Lee and Frank’s marriage had a hiccup when it was revealed he cheated on her with a flight attendant, but they decided to stick it out. In addition to the family’s statement, Kathie Lee released her own on Twitter earlier today:
Deeply grateful to all 4 ur outpouring of grace. We r steadfast in our faith & finding comfort in knowing where Frank is. Phillippians 4:13.
— Kathie Lee Gifford (@KathieLGifford) August 9, 2015