Paterno passes away

Former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno passed away Sunday at the age of 85.

His family released a statement this morning announcing his death.

"He died as he lived," the statement said. "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."

"As the last 61 years have shown, Joe made an incredible impact. That impact has been felt and appreciated by our family in the form of thousands of letters and well wishes along with countless acts of kindness from people whose lives he touched. It is evident also in the thousands of successful student athletes who have gone on to multiply that impact as they spread out across the country."

Paterno, who won more games than anyone in major college football but was fired amid the child sex abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, won 409 games and took the Nittany Lions to 37 bowl games and two national championships.

Paterno was battling lung cancer and had been in the hospital since Jan. 13 for observation for what his family had called minor complications from his cancer treatments.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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