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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).

0122_joe_paterno_psu
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. 


0121_joe_paterno_remembering_getty

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263 COMMENTS

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31.

Buddy Lee    

Buh bye!

916 days ago
32.

Drew    

FIRST!

916 days ago
33.

Joey Boots    

He's dead along with his so-called legacy - I pray for all those kids who were raped and molested which could have been avoided had Joe Paterno just done the right thing.

916 days ago
34.

Terri    

God Bless the Paterno family. Rest in Peace Joe Pa!

916 days ago
35.

rob    

Sorry he left the earth on a bad note. He did report it to his superiors. But what people need to remember is he came from different era, not that it makes any of this right, but he did what he thought was right and the spineless people above him along with teh guy that did all this are the ones that are getting off the hook when they all should be jailed. They are the true s*** bags.

Let Joe rest in peace,

916 days ago
36.

b    

"PA state police and the DA department failed to charge Sandusky in 1998 when he showered with a kid and told the mother, while police were listening in on the phone, that he would mot stop showering with kids. The now governor, who was at the time head of PA State's Attorney Office, criticized Joe for not doing enough ! His DA didn't charge in 1998 (four years before 2002 incident).

Joe reported to his supervisor what McCleary reported to him. Joe wasn't an eyewitness. His supervisors, including the head of Penn State Campus Police, failed to report it to Police and are charged because of this and perjury during their Grand Jury testimony. Joe testified truthfully and the Grand Jury said he complied with the law, he was not charged. If Joe's superiors would have done what they were required to do by law, Joe would not have been persecuted in the Press.

Furthermore, all the Penn State Trustees knew about the 2002 incident and none of them called the Police, but they fired Joe for not doing enough, hypocrites"

916 days ago
37.

anazita    

He will rot in hell together with all pedophile accomplices.

916 days ago
38.

Joey Boots    

405 victories and one big failure which negates all those wins - he may have been great at playing a "game" but he sucked at real life when it came time to do the right thing - selfish bastard put his school, team, legacy and money ahead of innocent children being preyed upon by a pedophile monster.

916 days ago
39.

sheyl sturgell    

You can thank the Penn State for Joe's death. The man reported the abuse which he did not witness to his higher ups and they covered up the scandal for fear of losing big donations from Sansdusky. Check Penn State's rules on conduct. If Joe had called the police on his own, and nothing was found due to a good cover up, Penn State would have fired him for that. He was damned either way. Penn State should be ashamed of their conduct. Everything is to save their precious reputation. When the best thing about Penn State was Joe Pa

916 days ago
40.

Shari    

ummmmm....he's NOT dead !

915 days ago
41.

RJ    

Justice has been served!!!

915 days ago
42.

VladZu    

Regarding the TMZ Polls... You need to include on every poll a choice of "Who gives a ****?" response button.

915 days ago
43.

anazita    

dd is completely oblivious to the fact that Paterno was a pedophile *accomplice*. Just as guilty. Capice?

915 days ago
44.

izandroro    

When the going got tough, joe paterno folded. RIH

915 days ago
45.

Shari    

He;s NOT Dead.....better check your sources ...

A letter from the Managing Editor of Onward State:

Earlier this evening, Onward State reported that Joe Paterno had passed away. However, the mountain of evidence stacked opposite that report is too much to ignore. At this time, I would like to issue a retraction of our earlier tweets.

I never, in a million years, would have thought that Onward State would be cited by the national media, and today, I sincerely wish it never had been. To all those who read and passed along our reports, I sincerely apologize for misleading you. To the Penn State community and to the Paterno family most of all, I could not be more sorry for the emotional anguish I am sure we caused. There are no excuses for what we did. We all make mistakes, but it’s impossible to brush off one of this magnitude. Right now, we deserve all of the criticism headed our way.

In this day and age, getting it first often conflicts with getting it right, but our intention was never to fall into that chasm. All I can do now is promise that in the future, we will exercise caution, restraint, and humility.

I can only hope and pray that the outstanding work our writers and photographers do on a day-to-day basis is not overshadowed by the events of tonight. I understand that our reputation is in serious question, but I hope you will continue to stand by us as we do everything in our power to make amends.

To begin that process, I will be stepping down from my post as Managing Editor, effective immediately. I take full responsibility for the events that transpired tonight, and for the black mark upon the organization that I have caused.

I ask not for your forgiveness, but for your understanding. I am so very, very, sorry, and we at Onward State continue to pray for Coach Paterno.

Sincerely,

Devon Edwards
Like · Comment · 13 hours ago ·

915 days ago
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