Joe Paterno, the man who served as head coach of Penn State’s football program for 46 years before exiting in scandal last year, has died of complications due to lung cancer. He was 85 years old.
According to the AP, Paterno passed away at 9:25 a.m. the morning of Jan. 22 of “metastatic small cell carcinoma of the lung.” A Paterno family spokesman issued a statement last night saying that Paterno’s health had taken a turn for the worse, but reports that he had died were premature.
Paterno, the winningest coach in Division I college football history, was diagnosed with lung cancer shortly after he lost his job for his involvement in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. Paterno informed university higher-ups that Sandusky was witnessed abusing a boy, but did not inform police.
The Paterno family says in a statement, “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.” ]]>