Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Joe Paterno

Dead at 85

1/22/2012 7:22 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Joe Paterno dies at the age of 85
Joe Paterno -- the legendary former football coach at Penn State University -- died this morning at the age of 85 ... this according to his family.

His family released a statement that reads, "He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community."

The front page of the website for the Penn State athletic department was updated with simply a picture of Paterno (see below).

Jerry Sandusky, the longtime assistant coach facing sexual abuse allegations that led to Paterno's dismissal at Penn State, called his death a sad day ... and Paterno "had the courage to practice what he preached" about toughness, hard work and clean competition.

Paterno was the coach at Penn State for 46 years, until he was famously fired by the school last November following the sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky.

In November 2011, his son Scott announced Paterno had a treatable form of lung cancer.

JoePa, as he was known, holds the record for most victories by a Division I football coach with 409. 


For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

No Avatar


NO Mother could get a child rape conviction.

942 days ago


Joe-Joe-Joe...I think you knew a lot more then you were saying...I think you were in on it. You can't lie anymore...if you were doing that to those boy's rot in hell,it not RIP

942 days ago

Bobo Frog    

He left before he could achieve forgiveness for his sins, so he is destined to return to this Earth as a young girl in the next life, who will be raped repeatedly while the people in her family and her neighbors do nothing. Karma works in weird ways.

942 days ago


STRAIGHT 2 HELL 4 u bitch!
While [you] RIP `` grown men now suffer b/c of your silence!

942 days ago

arale norimaki    

Your suffering will be legendary, even in hell!

942 days ago


What is wrong with you people. This is the Us. All he had was hearsay
Evidence. His testimony on what someone else said is not even admissible in court.
He told the authorities. Meanwhile NOTHING at all happens to the guy who witnessed the crime.
This is a great man who worked his way up from nothing. Respect him.

942 days ago


Joe reported what he was told to the proper authorities. After all he did for PSU they threw him under the bus. May his soul rest in peace.

942 days ago


Paterno was a good football coach for Penn State but he turned out to not be a very good leader for the university. By just "PASSING THE BUCK" of responsibility for this slimeball child rapist to other Penn State administration officials and NOT FOLLOWING UP ABOUT IT, he put the university into a very serious, deep, dark hole of scandal. This might end up being VERY, VERY expensive for Penn State when it comes time to make legal settlements.

You'd think that a head football coach with as much clout as Paterno had would be able to "nip this problem in the bud" just as soon as he heard about it. He should have pushed hard until the D.A. or the Governor himself had this slimeball behind bars ... YEARS ago. Like 1998, not in 2011!! He was cowardly and he just sort of thought that the issue would just go away if he ignored it and sweep the whole thing under the rug. That's just not how the world works. Big scandals like this one eventually come out and then things are 100 times worse.

942 days ago


This is a prime example that a good hearted human being can do years of hard work, and in the end still not be appreciated and treated like **** by the community you made a name for. Its a shame this man had to die with this on his mind

942 days ago


He was in a leadership position. He was not some young guy that made a mistake. He knew he was doing wrong. He failed as a leader. In the scheme of things football coaching is about as important as circus lion taming act.

942 days ago


No doubt, Joe Paterno would have gone down in the history of college football as one of the all time great coaches along with coaches like Bear Bryant from Alabama. Now there's going to be some big negative paragraphs in his encyclopedia entry because of this Sandusky child rape scandal. People at Penn State will probably not be able to look at pictures of Paterno on the wall and not think about this child rape scandal. Like the NFL coaches say ... it is what it is.

Maybe in the last 15 years or so he was going senile or something and his judgment was not like it used to be. It's just hard to understand why he would be more concerned about an embarrassing scandal hurting Penn State and the football program instead of having this perverted sicko child rapist Sandusky thrown in jail for life.

Paterno sure didn't show the kind of moral values that you would expect from a respected coach like him. Actions or INACTIONS in real life are way more important that mere WORDS in a football game pep talk.

942 days ago

Dr. Cornelia J. Dogbarker PhD    

I always thought this guy was a little bi-curious, if you know what I'm talking about.

942 days ago

Yurra Knutz    

The lessons I am learning from these whole sad series of events is, that someone, anyone can spend a lifetime building a great reputation and then one day, *POOF* reputation stained.

942 days ago

Yurra Knutz    

Also, and no disrespect meant but, is it possible to hang on to the same job or a position too long?

942 days ago


God does not care about his career as a coach! God only looks at what is real,down deep. Careers are not relevant to eternity. He failed to do the right thing. Zero tolerance for abuse of innocent boys. He did all he could to blame others to hold onto his title as coach. See? You lost it anyway, you fool.

942 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web