USC Legend Frank Gifford Has Died at 84


USC football legend, and both College Football and Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford has passed away at the age of 84. The Gifford family released a statement on Sunday to confirm his passing of natural causes.

"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 his difficult time and we thank you for your prayers."

Gifford was an All-American at USC in 1951, when he was not only a team captain for the Trojans, but a jack of all trades. He starred as the team’s quarterback, halfback, receiver, defensive back, kicker and punter.

He’d always be known as a dynamic playmaker on the Trojans on offense, but as a junior, Gifford’s three interceptions led the team. The year before, he made USC’s first field goal in 14 years.

Upon graduating in 1952, Gifford was drafted by the New York Giants, where he had Hall of Fame career as one of the greatest players of his time and beyond.

He totaled 9,758 all-purpose yards in his 13-year career as a professional, and was the Giants’ all-time leading receiver and second all-time rusher when he retired. It wasn’t until 2003 that Amani Toomer would be the one to break his franchise mark for receiving yards.

ALSO READ: Looking Back at USC Great Frank Gifford

After football, Gifford made a name for himself as a sports broadcaster for ABC, where he was on the Monday Night Football broadcast team from 1971 to 1997 alongside Al Michaels.

In all, Gifford was arguably the most recognizable face of football for decades. He had the rare mix of being both a legendary player and ambassador to game through the media, blazing a path for players-turned-broadcasters after him.

Gifford is survived by his wife Kathie Lee, son Cody and daughter Cassidy. Cody Gifford followed in his father’s footsteps, as he was a walk-on wide receiver at USC starting in 2008.

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