Frank Gifford, the NFL Hall of Famer and respected sportscaster, died on Sunday of natural causes. He was 84.

Frank Gifford Dies

Gifford’s death was announced by his family in a statement.

“It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved husband, father and friend, Frank Gifford,” the statement read. “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.”

After Gifford’s death was made public, tributes poured in for the late NFL legend on social media. His wife, Kathy Lee Gifford, thanked well-wishers, while saying that her husband is now in a better place.

On Monday, Kathy Lee Gifford did not appear on the Today show, but her co-host and close friend Hoda Kotb shared a message from the TV personality.

“She said this is not a tragedy,” Kotb said on Today. “I was holding her hand, and she said, ‘A 4-year-old girl having cancer is a tragedy.’ She said Frank lived to be almost 85. She said he lived an incredible life, has an incredible family and an incredible legacy. She said his life is a triumph.”

During the 1950s and 1960s, Gifford was the face of the New York Giants, playing running back, defensive back and wide receiver, earning invitations to the Pro Bowl in each of the three positions. He helped lead the franchise to three Eastern Conference titles and an NFL championship. Gifford was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

When Gifford retired from the gridiron in 1971, he parlayed his knowledge of football into a career in sportscasting. Alongside Don Meredith and Howard Cosell, he co-hosted Monday Night Football. Gifford retired from broadcasting in 1998.

Gifford is survived by his wife Kathy Lee Gifford, their children Cody and Cassidy, three children from a previous marriage –  Jeff, Kyle and Victoria – and give grandchildren.

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