Remembering Frank Gifford

We’re sorry to report that the celebrated football player, broadcaster, and Disney Legend passed away on August 9, in Connecticut, at the age of 84.

“Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture,” Gifford once said. And throughout his incomparable career, Gifford demonstrated tremendous success on the playing field, in the broadcast booth, and throughout the entertainment landscape.

Frank Gifford was born in Santa Monica, California, and attended the University of Southern California, where he played offensive and defensive back, earned All-American honors, and was inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame. Gifford went on to a celebrated professional career; his time with the New York Giants included eight appearances in the Pro Bowl and five appearances in the NFL Championship Game, the forerunner to the Super Bowl. He retired from playing in 1964 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

While still a player, Gifford began to move into broadcasting and entertainment, and he joined ABC in 1971 for the second season of Monday Night Football. Gifford would remain with the series until 1998, calling more games in the Monday Night Football booth than any other commentator.

In addition to covering football for the network, Gifford was a memorable part of many other ABC programs, including seven Olympics, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and Good Morning America. He was recognized with a Sports Emmy® Award in 1976 for Outstanding Sports Personality and again in 1997 with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Gifford also made several appearances on the big screen in films like Paper Lion, Disney’s The World’s Greatest Athlete, Two Minute Warning, and Jerry Maguire.

He was named a Disney Legend in 2008.

“Frank Gifford was an exceptional man who will be missed by everyone who had the joy of seeing his talent on the field, the pleasure of watching his broadcasts, or the honor of knowing him,” Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company, said. “His many achievements were defined by a quiet dignity and a personal grace that is seldom seen in any arena; he truly embodied the very best of us. Frank’s contributions to ABC Sports and our company are immeasurable. We are honored to call him a Disney Legend and I am very fortunate to have called him a dear friend and colleague. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”