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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

No Avatar
61.

kay    

GOOD! I hope he had a slow and painful death. This dead idiot was a pedophile and let horrendous things happen to young kids. The world is better now that a despicable piece of cow manure is gone from this earth. He is no hero!!!

970 days ago
62.

TJones    

R.I.H

970 days ago
63.

richleft    

To Shari who claims Joe is NOT dead...what about the family statement?

970 days ago
64.

Abysmal     

To dd- You don't seem to understand. We know that Jerry Sandusky committed the crimes, but he's at fault as well. While he did report the act to the administration, he saw they did nothing.He could of gone to the police and taken action, instead he simply allowed the sexual assaults to go on.He simply loss sight of his "moral values" and "integrity" as a human being. Would you still be trying to justify reasons to defend this man if he saw Jerry Sandusky molesting a love one of yours and didn't go the police? I'm sure you'd be pretty exasperate and want his head, like the parents of the victims do.

970 days ago
65.

sonnfish    

Everyone dies eventually. It is unfortunate he will not be around to give testimony.

970 days ago
66.

Em    

My condolences to the Paterno family. Likely Mr Paterno had many more years left in him; his cancer was allegedly treatable. However, struck down with the accusations and the media rampage, it was almost as if they dealt the final blow. If this is karma for his failure to act, so be it. If not, this is an example of just how powerful the media can be. RIP Joe Paterno.

970 days ago
67.

mebrat24    

Any one with children should have a hard time thinking this man was a great man, how he could look in a mirror knowing his buddy was still on campus and still working with kids. NO THIS IS NOT A GREAT MAN- ANY WAY YOU LOOK AT IT.

970 days ago
68.

UPYOURS    

Good

970 days ago
69.

HellBoundSinner    

It is a shame of his passing due to cancer. Cancer is never pretty. However, I am also ashamed of him not doing enough to protect the boys. Yes he did report it, but when he found out the ball was dropped he should have picked it up and ran it in for the touchdown (reporting it to the police). Instead it was swept under the carpet to protect him and others involved. Shame about his death, but ashamed of his actions.

970 days ago
70.

Violet    

Because of his silence, countless children were sexually abused by his colleague(s). In the grand scheme of things, football is just a game but these are LIVES we're talking about.

For shame, Joe Paterno. You could've made a difference in these children's lives and you turned away.

970 days ago
71.

anon    

R.I.P.
He was made a scapegoat by the very institution that he loved. Screw U Penn State.

970 days ago
72.

URSilly    

So many are saying how football was taken from him and broke his heart.

The boys who were molested, their innocence was taken from them and broke their hearts. A part of them died inside when so many grown adults would not protect them or prevent them or others from being violated.

Anyone who ever knows or even suspects or is told that an adult is molesting a child, needs to speak out until heard, no matter what, report it report it until someone listens. If the higher ups ignore it or try to cover it up or minimize the abuse, go to the police, go to the courts, go to social services, REPORT REPORT to have it investigated and stopped!

Be the hero, do the right thing, keep speaking out and advocating for children of sexual abuse, keep reporting it until someone listens.

Life is about living it with honor, being honorable is to ALWAYS do the right thing, no matter what. Speak out, shout it from the roof tops, until someone listens and steps in to stop children being sexually abused by adults, to stop it from being minimized or covered up. When adults minimize child sexual abuse or cover it up, they re-victimize the children who were abused, over and over.

Had he and others spoke out until they got it stopped, think of how many children would not have lost their innocence.

So people may be mourning this coach and saying how he lost what he loved, football, well those boys who were molested, lost their innocence and it was not by choice, it was at the hands of MANY grown men who lacked the honor to do the right thing and get it stopped. Many of those boys hearts got broken and their innocence stolen from them.

Do the right thing, if you know some child is being sexually abused, REPORT IT, speak out until someone listens and steps in and stops it or investigates it. BE AN ADVOCATE FOR A CHILD, be the voice for a child who lost their voice when they lost their innocence.

970 days ago
73.

yayawhateva    

The fact that he's a rapist deletes all the 'good' things he did to try and cover it up and make himself look good. Too bad he didn't suffer longer!

970 days ago
74.

HeatherM    

It truly disgusts me to read these comments from people about how Joe Paterno is "getting sodomized by Hitler in Hell" and "I would of been the cancer that killed" him. Especially when it is pretty safe to say they didn't look into another about the scandal themselves and have just been gobbling up the inaccurate and over exaggerated reports and speculations that turned him into a monster. Joe Paterno was not the monster in this scandal. No one has any idea what his position was the matter besides himself. Who are you to sit on your pedestal casting down judgement?

Joseph Paterno was a great man, a far better man than most people can dream to be. He led a modest and humbled lifestyle, giving a predominant portion of his salary back to the school, but it never went to athletics. He doubled the size of our library. Countless students are only able to attend Penn State thanks to the scholarships offered in his name. He has made countless donations to Penn State's Dance MaraTHON (thon.org) which is the world's largest student-run philanthropy aimed at battling pediatric cancer. In his final living donation to the school, he built a spiritual community center to bring students together in their faith.

He held all students to a higher standard than most, including the football players. Penn State's football team has the highest graduation rate in the NCAA under his coaching. He suspended star linebacker Dan Connor just for prank-calling boosters, suspended many star players because of their involvement in a fight, forced the entire football team to clean Beaver stadium after home football games because of said fight, and kicked Austin Scott off of the team (effectively ending his football career) just because he was accused of rape (the charges were eventually dropped because the accuser wasn't credible). How people believe that he covered up the sexual molestation of children just to keep from tarnishing the football team’s good name is beyond me.

Joe Paterno was far more than just a football coach. He was a positive role model to everyone at Penn State. That is how he will be remembered. His positive legacy will forever be remembered by his Penn State family. Rest in peace, my dear friend.

970 days ago
75.

livereater    

this isn't news... paterno died years ago.

970 days ago
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