Former Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Dies at Age 85

Celebrity News Jan. 22, 2012 AT 10:45AM
Former Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Dies at Age 85 Credit: Reinhold Matay/WireImage

It's a sad day for the Penn State family.

Joe Paterno, the famed former football coach at Penn State University, passed away Sunday morning after complications from the chemotherapy that was treating his lung cancer took a turn for the worst, TMZ has confirmed.

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Using a statement released by Paterno's family, TMZ writes, "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 college sports legend was 85 years old.

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Paterno, who was affectionately called "Joe Pa" by his team and fans, was diagnosed with lung cancer in November. It was within the same month that the famed Big Ten football coach made headlines, not for his game-winning team and tactics, but for the scandal surrounding his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's 40 counts of child sex abuse. It was also within the same month that Paterno was forced to end his 46 year-long career with the central Pennsylvania university.

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Paterno's accomplishments include holding the all-time Division I record for football coaching wins (a 409-136-3 record) and winning two national championships in addition to going undefeated in five football seasons.

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