UPDATE 5:35 p.m. EDT: National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement mourning the death of Frank Gifford, calling him an "icon."
Frank Gifford was an icon of the game, both as a Hall of Fame player for the Giants and Hall of Fame broadcaster for CBS and ABC. Frank’s talent and charisma on the field and on the air were important elements in the growth and popularity of the modern NFL. He was a great friend to everyone in the league, a special advisor to NFL commissioners, and served NFL fans with enormous distinction for so many decades. We will always remember Frank’s contributions and miss his friendship. Our hearts go out to Kathie Lee and the entire Gifford family.
Hall of Fame football player and sports broadcaster Frank Gifford died Sunday morning of natural causes. He was one week away from turning 85.
His family issued the following statement through NBC:
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 played 12 seasons with the New York Giants and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. After his football career, Gifford became a beloved announcer on "Monday Night Football."
He is survived by his wife, "TODAY Show" co-host Kathie Lee Gifford, and five children: Maxine, Jeffrey, Kyle, Victoria, Cody and Cassidy.