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Hall of Famer and USC Legend Frank Gifford Passes Away
Gifford, a 1975 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, passed away Aug. 9. He was 84.
Published: 8/10/2015 10:17:00 AM

Frank Gifford, a 1975 College Football Hall of Fame inductee from the University of Southern California, passed away Aug. 9 in Greenwich, Conn. He was 84 years old.

Born on Aug. 16, 1930, in Santa Monica, Calif., Gifford starred at Bakersfield (Calif.) High and Bakersfield Junior College before three years at USC from 1949-51. He received All-America and all-conference honors his senior year, splitting time at fullback, quarterback, halfback, punter and placekicker. He made the Trojans’ first field goal in 14 years, rushed for 841 yards and rolled up 1,144 yards in total offense.

In 1951, the Trojans knocked off No. 1 California, thanks to Gifford who scored on a 69-yard run, threw a touchdown pass, and with five minutes to play, led a drive that won the game 21-14.

He was selected by the New York Giants with the 11th overall pick in the 1952 NFL Draft, and played with the team from 1952-64, missing one year because of an injury. He appeared in eight Pro Bowls and led the Giants in rushing four years in a row, finishing his career with franchise records for touchdowns and receiving yards. Gifford helped the Giants to five NFL championship games, including the NFL title in 1956 when he was voted the league MVP. His No. 16 Giants jersey is retired.

After his playing days, he became a TV sports commentator, best known for his NFL play-by-play commentating on ABC’s “Monday Night Football” from 1971-97, primarily with Howard Cosell and fellow College Football Hall of Famer Don Meredith (SMU) in the booth. He also covered the Olympics for ABC, received two Emmy Awards and won the Pete Rozelle Award for broadcasting from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

The NFL Alumni group gave him its Achievement Award in 1985, and Gifford served as chairman of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of New York, which established a $100,000 grant for research in his name in 1984. Gifford wrote a number of books, including “Gifford on Courage” and “The Whole Ten Yards.”

He is survived by his wife, television personality Kathie Lee, and his five children, Jeff, Kyle, Victoria, Cody and Cassidy, as well as five grandchildren. Cody was a walk-on wide receiver at USC in 2011.

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