7:55 AM PT -- A rep for the the Lucas County Coroner's office tells us Howe died of "natural causes." They will not be investigating his death.
Hockey legend Gordie Howe died Friday morning in Ohio.
According to reports, Howe was at his son's home in Toledo when he passed away. He had suffered a stroke last year, but his family said he recovered well after that.
Howe was 88.
The Detroit Red Wings superstar held most of the NHL records that Wayne Gretzky eventually broke.
Howe was a 23-time All-Star in the league, and played an astounding 26 seasons in the NHL (still a record) ... plus another 6 in the World Hockey League. His 1,767 NHL games played is also a record.
Gordie retired at the age of 52 ... following one season with the Hartford Whalers in 1980.
Interesting pic we dug up -- in 1990, Howe was honored at the All-Star Professional Sports Awards alongside Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Rod Laver.
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