Frank Gifford Biography

Athlete, Football Player, Television Personality(1930–2015)
Frank Gifford starred for the New York Giants during his Hall of Fame NFL career before becoming a successful broadcaster.

Synopsis

Born on August 16, 1930, in Santa Monica, California, Frank Gifford attended USC on a football scholarship. He played for the NFL's New York Giants for 12 years, winning MVP honors after leading the team to the championship in 1956. Following his NFL career, Gifford became a mainstay in the broadcast booth for Monday Night Football. He died on August 9, 2015, at age 84.

Early Years and Football Career

American football player and sports broadcaster Frank Gifford was born on August 16, 1930, in Santa Monica, California. The recipient of a full-tuition scholarship from the University of Southern California, he was selected by the NFL's New York Giants with the 11th overall pick of the 1952 draft.

Used at running back, defensive back and wide receiver, Gifford became the team's signature player for more than a decade. He was named to the Pro Bowl in every season from 1953-59, and voted the league MVP in 1956 after helping the Giants win the NFL title. 

Gifford missed the entire 1961 season after suffering a concussion, but he returned in 1962 and earned his final Pro Bowl selection the following year. He retired after the 1964 season with 5,434 career receiving yards, which remained the team record until it was surpassed by Amani Toomer in 2003.

Broadcasting Success

Even while an active player, Gifford worked as a sports broadcaster on radio and television, first on CBS, then ABC. From 1971 he became a regular on ABC-TV, with Monday Night Football and Wide World of Sports, as well as occasional specials. In 1977, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was honored with an Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality. He left Monday Night Football for good in 1998.

In addition to his broadcast work, the handsome athlete starred in the 1959 film Up Periscope, and appeared in such television shows as Captain Kangaroo and The Six Million Dollar Man. He also wrote or co-authored several books on football.

Personal

Frank Gifford married popular talk show host and singer Kathie Lee Epstein Johnson on October 18, 1986. The couple had two children, son Cody (b. 1990) and daughter Cassidy (b. 1993). Gifford also had three children with his first wife, Maxine Avis Ewart: Jeff, Kyle and Victoria.

Gifford died on August 9, 2015, just shy of his 85th birthday, at his home in Connecticut.

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