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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. 


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Previous 15 Comments | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13

Janice Mitchell-Boyer    

A true living novel has completed his last chapter. For a man that loved his job so much that he worked so many years meant he was happy in his family and job. When you take one of these things away, something inside dies. Papa Joe has left his mark on earth HE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. i'M from louisiana but love the will power and courage he gave his players. MAY THE FAMILY BE BLESSED AND PAPAjOE IS IN GOD'S LIGHT.

1004 days ago


Don't think for a second he didn't know what was going on under his nose. Who's to say he wasn't a party to it?

1004 days ago

Rotten Puppets    

He will be remembered as the guy too concerned with his football organization to report a child rapist. Congrats JoePutz, nice legacy you leave behind. Not to mention in all those years he only won 2 titles??? It's not like this guy was some amazing coach in the first place!!!

1004 days ago


RIP JoePa. There is a time and place to discuss the Penn State tragedy, but for now, may your years of positive donations and accolades be remembered. You did many great things for Penn State and their athletic program. For all of those who have made the negative comments, read the bible. Last time I checked, we are to forgive. Keep your negativity to yourself and remember what your Mom taught you..."if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all."

1004 days ago


Its amazing how ppl are saying he was a HERO. A man associated with sex allegations against a child. A mere football coach. There are many many THAT strive everyday REALLY HELPING AND SHAPING LIVES.

1004 days ago

Jan P    

This man is disgusting. True he was a football coaching hero BUT....he stood idol and let lots of innocent boys be molested by his friend. When he said he didn't have the topols to handle the situation, that was enough to make you vomit. I hope the victims have some peace knowing he at least got fired from his throne before he died. I am very sorry for his family..for the loss and the shame!

1004 days ago


RIP JoePa - He was a great man. Unfortunately the media (and Sandusky) assassinated him. News reports mentioned Joe Paterno's name way more times in this case then the guilty party - Sandusky. It's a real shame what they did to him - hopefully the media and Sandusky will get what's coming to them.

1004 days ago


I can't believe that you people are saying the negative things about Joe Paterno. He did what he was required to do by the chain of command according to the chain of command. They are the ones who left it slide therefore allowing Sandusky to do what he did.....Joe Paterno was Penn State.. He did so much for that school and to be fired was unspeakable....I hope the people high up on the chain rot when their time comes.. Joe Paterno was Penn State..All you negative people make me sick.......

1004 days ago


Yes, Paterno fought hard..Fought hard for the fame of football but forgot about fighting for those innocent children that he knew was being molested and dropped the ball!

1003 days ago


How many lives could this grey little nothing of a man have saved had he done the right thing? Instead, he did what was best for the team and his career. Sports over sexual abuse. What a waste of humanity. A great coach, and an even greater pedophile enabler.

1003 days ago


Creedmor, your an a^%ho(e, he did what he was suppossed to just like any other job, go to you superior or manager and they take care of it or :not".....

1003 days ago

Alan Carver    

And we are sad about this man dying because? He will be best remembered for not doing the right thing when he had the chance and was only concerned about his precious career and not doing the right thing by the boys Jerry Sandusky molested. This is far from over and I sure hope for Paterno's sake he took some SPF with him cause where he is going it is going to be a very very warm time for him ... for eternity! Hope you are having a blast in hell paterno!

1003 days ago


Joepa died of a broken heart and all you fools out there who say other wise are just what I said FOOLS....

1002 days ago
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