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American Football Legend Frank Gifford Dead at 84


FILE -Former New York Giants player Frank Gifford looks on before an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

American pro football Hall of Famer and longtime broadcaster Frank Gifford has died at the age of 84.

In a statement Sunday, his family said Gifford died of natural causes earlier in the day at his home near New York City.

Born in 1930 in the western U.S. state of California, Gifford attained stardom in collegiate football at the University of Southern California before entering the National Football League in 1952 as the 11th overall pick of the New York Giants.

He played his entire 12-year career with the Giants, and was the league's Most Valuable Player in 1956 as the Giants won the league championship. Known for his athleticism and versatility, Gifford starred as a running back and receiver, but also excelled on the team's defensive squad and special teams.

After retirement, Gifford became a sportscaster and worked as play-by-play announcer and later as commentator on ABC's "Monday Night Football" from 1971 to 1997. He also appeared in about a dozen Hollywood films, most notably the World War II naval drama, "Up Periscope."

His wife, the former Kathie Lee Epstein, currently hosts one hour of the daily NBC news program "Today."

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