New York Giants football icon Frank Gifford has passed away of natural causes at the age of 84. Gifford spent his entire 13-year NFL career with the Giants, playing on both offense and defense. The Hall of Famer played in five NFL Championship games and eight Pro Bowls, while winning the NFL Championship and MVP award in 1956.
Upon retiring from the league in 1964, Gifford joined the broadcast booth and was most remembered for his commentary on ABC’s Monday Night Football. Giants team president John Mara offered his condolences to Gifford’s family and provided a heartfelt tribute to the Big Blue legend.
"Frank Gifford was the ultimate Giant,” Mara said. “He was the face of our franchise for so many years. 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."
Giants chairman Steve Tisch also spoke about Gifford’s close ties with the his family and the Giants organization.
"Not only was Frank a member of the Giants family from the time he left USC, and will be forever, but because Frank, my father (Bob) and Pete Rozelle were so close in the '60s, I felt like he was a member of my family,” noted Tisch. “I always loved seeing Frank on our sideline before our games. He had the handshake of a 25-year old, and he looked you right in the eye with his big blue eyes. He was such a strong person in every way. He will be missed and will always be remembered as a Giants' Giant."
Gifford is survived by his wife and famed television host Kathie Lee along with his son Cody and daughter Cassidy.