Frank Gifford dies at 84

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Giants Hall of Fame running back Frank Gifford has passed away, one week shy of his 85th birthday.

“It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved husband, father and friend, Frank Gifford,” the Gifford family said in a statement released to NBC News. “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.”

An eight-time Pro Bowler at three different positions and former NFL MVP, Gifford led the Giants to the 1956 championship, captured with a win over the Bears.

A running back before a brutal hit from the late Chuck Bednarik knocked Gifford out of football for 18 months (he actually retired in 1961), Gifford returned in 1962 as a flanker — winning the league’s comeback player of the year award and becoming a Pro Bowler all over again. (Gifford previously qualified for the Pro Bowl as a cornerback, too.)

He finished his playing career in 1964, generating 3,609 rushing yards and 5,434 receiving yards. Gifford scored 77 touchdowns from scrimmage, and he added another on an interception return. As a part-time kicker in 1952 and 1956, he made 10 extra points and two field goals.

The Hall of Fame welcomed Gifford as a member in 1977.

Gifford’s broadcasting career was arguably even more memorable, given his role as play-by-play announcer for the fabled Monday Night Football booth that included Howard Cosell and Don Meredith. In 1995, Gifford received separate recognition from the Hall of Fame for his work in TV. He remained a fixture on MNF through 1998.

We extend our condolences to Gifford’s family, friends, teammates, and television colleagues.

82 responses to “Frank Gifford dies at 84

  1. Hearing the story from my older relatives, of how the brutal hit from Chuck Bednarik knocked Gifford out of football, was always a favorite tale.
    But they also knew how talented and respected Frank Gifford was.

    R.I.P.
    – Eagles Nation

  2. I met Frank Gifford once, on his birthday 12 years ago in Nantucket. He was a really nice guy. My thoughts go out his family. May he rest in peace.

  3. A truly great football individual, RIP Frank. My age being what it is, I remember well the days of Gifford, Rote, Price, Robustelli, Grier, R. Brown, Conerly, Tittle, Huff, etc.

  4. Frank was the glue that held ABC MNF together. During the days, when MNF was a weekly event and not just another game of the week. When loudmouthed Cosell would knock Dandy Don, Gentleman Frank Gifford would step in and with his knack for the right phrase get the focus back on the game: where it belonged all along. Godspeed on your next assignment.

  5. A tremendous football player. When today’s ham and eggers talk about ” I’m working on my brand” Mr. Gifford was a brand before the marketing folks ever thought of the phrase. RIP…a life well lived.

  6. RIP. The three MNF broadcaster trio are gone but not forgotten. Growing up with them was a huge part of the reason for my love of NFL game and it’s ultimate success and popularity. Sad day, but how appropriate that he passes on the HOF game.

  7. Frank Gifford was a huge part of what made NFL football great for me as a child. His playing career was before my time, but his broadcasting career, along with at different times Al Michaels, Dandy Don Meredith, Dan Dierdorf and Howard Cosell made Monday Night Football a must-watch growing up.

    RIP, Mr. Gifford.

  8. Ouch! I guess those MNF days are truly long behind us where Frank served as the perfect (and much needed) buffer between Dandy Don and Howard.

    Frank, thanks! You will be missed!

  9. One of the best ever; he played back when men were men and the NFL didn’t harness them.

  10. He was great for the game and for sports broadcasting. Couldn’t have listened to Cosell for long if Frank hadn’t added to the conversation.

  11. Without a doubt, a football and New York legend. And some incredible player. Rest well, Giff.

  12. I wore a Frank Gifford mask on Monday Night Football Oct. 31, 1988. Colts, Broncos Halloween night game.

    In attendance were about 18,000 Frank Giffords, 18,000 Al Michaels, and 18,000 Dan Dierdorfs.

    RIP, Mr. Frank Gifford. We loved you as a player, a commentator, and a fellow human of respect and high integrity.

  13. I wish all the young football fans could have watched you, Dandy Don and Howard like I did all those Monday nights. It’s never been matched . Thanks for the memories.

  14. Ever entwined it’s amazing that both Chuck B. And Frank G.passed away in the same year. R.I.P. Gentlemen.

  15. Chuck Bednarick is welcoming home Gifford with a strong embrace instead of a hit.

  16. Legendary Giant, legendary broadcaster. His call of Franz Klammer’s gold medal downhill run in the 1976 Winter Olympics still resonates today.

    Frank’s MNF colleague Al Michaels will be must-watch TV tonight on the Hall of Fame game.

    RIP #16

  17. Wow that’s an impressive list of accomplishments in the NFL. That guy could play football. Now everyone is a contract hold-out feelings hurt diva.

  18. The older people loved him as a great player, the younger people loved him as the great Monday Night Football announcer, and the older women loved him too. Everybody is sad. RIP Frank

  19. RIP Frank……a tremendous athlete and man who was so fortunate not having to play during the Goodell Persecutions

  20. I remember him on MNF and never knew much about his football career.
    On another note that photo of him is amazing. It could be a photo of someone in today’s world with that hairstyle coming back in style.

  21. Back in the mid ’90s he and Kathie Lee would always come to the restaurant I worked at. Good tippers though not the most outgoing duo.

  22. I’m too young to have watched Gifford during his Giants playing career but I certainly have good memories of him on MNF.

    While I thought that Charlie Jones, Pat Summerall and Curt Gowdy were the best at play-by-play, Gifford was certainly very good (and better than Al Michaels or any of the present-day play-by-play announcers). I especially liked the way Frank allowed for the on-air playful-feuding between Cosell and Dandy Don without losing focus on the game on the field.

    RIP.

  23. RIP Frank I am sure the Wellington will welcome you with open arms

    A Giant loss

  24. I’m curious if Gifford had CTE like some of the more recent players who have died.

    The reason why I am curious is because if he didn’t have CTE or had a minor case of it then the main cause could be from how big, strong, and fast players nowadays have become.

    If CTE has always been a part of football then the NFL is in trouble, but if it is something that came about more recently then it might be indirectly caused by steroids, HGH, and other chemicals that aid players in getting bulkier and faster.

  25. RIP Frank Gifford.
    Condolences to his family and friends. I grew up on Gifford stories and his feat of making the Pro Bowl at 3 different positions was one of the measuring sticks for a generation of comparisons. One of the great competitors to ever take the field.

    A Giant loss indeed.

  26. It was a MNF game in December of ’74 when all 3 broadcasters picked their eventual SB winner. Cosell picked the Raiders, Dandy Don picked the Dolphins and Gifford picked the Steelers. The Steel City has loved him ever since.

  27. It is sad but the Giant teams of the late ’50’s and early ’60’s never got the due that they should have received. They won in 1956, then they were in the title games in 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, and 1963. That is 6 title games in 8 years. They had a ton of HOF’ers and they were a class organization. Frank Gifford was a major player in all that success. I truly am sorry to see him pass. My condolences to his family! Rest in peace, Frank!

  28. A California Golden Boy. To aspire to life he had would be a good thing. Star at USC, Star on The NY Footbal Giants. TV Star. I remembered the Franz Klammer call, but I think it was with Bob Beattie. I remember the story that they were in the bar and had to go back and do the audio later. Also… remember all The Superstars shows on ABC. They were funny!

  29. Frank Gifford did it all. Watched him as a kid when the Giants were the only team in the northeast. YA Tittle, Sam Huff, all those greats of that era of Giant teams. Frank was a true gentleman and class act, great football player and broadcaster. He will be remembered fondly by all who watched him play or call a game. He left his mark. Condolences to his family. Thank you Frank Gifford.

  30. His call of Franz Klammer’s gold medal downhill run in the 1976 Winter Olympics still resonates today

    Nostalgia. I was a little kid watching that in my living room. Didn’t know that was Frank.

  31. While I’m too young to remember Frank as a player, I’m old enough to fondly remember Howard, Frank & Dandy Don’s voices being a Monday night staple in my childhood home. Now they’re all gone. Sad.
    Turn out the lights; the party’s over 🙁

  32. Tittle came to the Giants in 1961, when the New York Titans (later, Jets) were in their second year of play. Conerly was the Giants’ QB before there was an AFL.

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