Anyone's death is of course a sad occasion, but when we learned yesterday that Frank Gifford had passed away at the age of 84, a particular kind of sadness fell over me, because here was a man I had known about my entire life. He was an NFL superstar and then we went on to broadcasting where he also excelled, and he was a very public husband and father whom we frequently heard about from his wife. Yes there was a bit of a scandal or two, but it really wasn't our place to judge, because his family moved forward.
Everything I ever heard about Frank Gifford on the football field or in the broadcast booth, was positive. To say that what I heard about him from wife Kathie Lee or his two youngest children (he had three other children from his first marriage) Cody and Cassidy, was positive, would be the biggest understatement. People gushed with love for this man, and it seems that the feeling was mutual. Frank was also a big supporter of the Dana’s Angels Research Trust and other charities and helped create Cody Gifford House and Cassidy's Place, named for his children.
"How would you like to be remembered?" he was once asked, during an interview. His response: "First and foremost, as a good father. Who had a job to do and he did it well. A better husband this time than I was the other time. Somebody who cared passionately about playing the game, reporting it properly, kept my life in the right perspective. Never believed I was something I wasn't. And rarely believed I was what I was."
Seems like a great way for any of us to be remembered! With love to your family and friends who more, I want to say thanks for the memories Frank. Rest in peace.