January 22nd, 2012
11:56 AM ET

Paterno's family: 'He fought hard until the end'

Read the full statement released by Joe Paterno's family:

It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today.  His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled.

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.

He has been many things in his life – a soldier, scholar, mentor, coach, friend and father.  To my mother he was and is her soul mate, and the last several weeks have shown the strength of their love.  To his children and grandchildren he is a shining example of how to live a good, decent and honest life, a standard to which we aspire.

When he decided to forego a career in law and make coaching his vocation, his father Angelo had but one command: make an impact.

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.

And so he leaves us with a peaceful mind, comforted by his “living legacy” of five kids, 17 grandchildren, and hundreds of young men whose lives he changed in more ways than can begin to be counted.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be made to the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania or the Penn State-THON (The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon).

Filed under: Joe Paterno
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Oldie in TampaBay

    rest in peace, old friend, rest in peace.

    January 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hwy91

      Amen. God bless.

      January 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hamsta

    congradulations cnn you have successfully confused everyone and changed your story twice in a couple of hours in such a rush to make abc look bad.now you both look bad and you think you deserve a gold medal.the real journalists at fox news got the story right the first time.no wonder fox has better ratings.

    January 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoAnne

      no need for negative posts now

      January 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • bajadelmar

      Here's a real fact for you nitwit. Faux News wouldn't know the "truth" if it bit them in the *ss!

      January 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hwy91

      Good God. These things happen – look at Mark Twain: "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated". Get a life.

      January 22, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hwy91

      Wait – did you say "the REAL journalists" at Faux Nous? You've GOT to be kidding. What a tool.

      January 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Are you incapable of reading comprehension?
      Look at the times the stories were posted.
      Cnn did nothing.
      Please regale Fox with your opinions if you hate CNN so much.

      January 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. UniQue

    God rest your soul,certainly a route everyone MUST take at some time,meaning whatever folks are still wondering is between him and God WORRY ABOUT YOUR OWN SCORE!

    January 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bubba™

    R.I.P. Now the covering up is complete.. what a shame... DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES.. JUSTICE for the victims first. Then those who did not act to stop it.

    January 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @bubba-I believe that is why he gave the last interview. He knows what he did. He did not understand the impact or hurt that would follow. He went and told people in higher office. Higher on the todem pole ever go back to tell you if and what the results are in a investigation. Here we see the higher ups did nothing. Patero had no reason to believe they would not follow up or he said he would have reported to police.

      January 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      @ momma

      If you read my previous posts you would realize that I believe Jo Pa was a scape goat for others higher up...... but now... unless he has been deposed..... what he did or didn't do and who he told. Will GO TO THE GRAVE WITH HIM. I hope the others who did not act on the information, get justice too

      January 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JoAnne

    Rest In Peace

    January 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. UniQue

    God rest your soul.Definitely a route we all must take at some time,whatever folk are still questioning is between him and god .Meaning WORRY ABOUT YOUR OWN SCORE !

    January 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mistylynn

    Our hearts are hurting today for a man we loved like he was a member of our own family. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May the pain we are feeling in our hearts for someone we loved so much help his family through this sad time. We love you JoePa!!! See you in heaven

    January 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. UniQue

    Why not the submit

    January 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lisa G.

    RIP JoePa. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.

    January 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. UniQue


    January 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. snowy2

    May your spirit live on. Those of us who went to PSU know that you were Penn State! I promise not to give another cent to Penn State as I think they contributed to your demise.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |

    I'D fight hard to live also if i knew i was going to hell...
    how could you work with someone every day after seeing them molest a child?
    and his defense is i didn't know what to do?..
    quit, call police, tell everyone.. you CALL THE POLICE!!
    and say i seen that guy in the shower with a child..

    January 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cathy

      Stupid man, get your facts straight. Paterno didn't see anything. His assistant did, told Paterno who then told his superiors. Don't bother commenting when you don't know anything.

      January 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • lenny

      you are an idiot, joepa never seen a child get molested....he may have made a mistake for not following through on what he told his higher ups....

      January 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Ruff and others.. JoePA did not see any molest going on.. He only HEARS about the occurrences from the assistant coach.. The assistant coach is the ones who saw the rape.. The assistant coach should have reported to the police. JoePA only know about the rape by the statement from the assistant coach.. He DID report to the superiors.. There were a investigation and there were a court about the abuse.. None of them have done anything, til the scandal comes up. ( I m speaking of authority figures) The superiors decided to ban Sandusky to near the kids where he founded a place for underprivileged boys. They clearly think it would solve the problem.. Of course, there were a lot of finger pointing. JoePA did his best to report and had no clue what is going on with the administration.. JoePA had his last saying that he admits that he wish he could do better but he simply don't know how. He did not finger pointing anyone.. He thought he did right thing.. He did not keep his mouth shut.. he reported to the upper people.. they told him they will take care of that..It is not people's job to judge. JoePA will not go hell for the scandal. Media did a very good job by screwing people around to get high rating.. SHAME..

      January 23, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jazzy

    33 YEARS of working with Sandusky and a 1998 investigation
    HE KNEW !!!!!!

    January 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cathy

      Oh and you know because.......I know - you're an idiot!

      January 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bubba™

    The debate about what he knew and who he told and when, what they did or told him ... will go on forever.. Jo pa will ne er get to testify in court...... DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES... R.I.P.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jmbrown

    RIP, JoePa. To the Paterno family, our thoughts and prayers for you in your time of great loss. Coach Paterno gave us college football fans a lot of great years of awesome football. To those who would post negatively here in this sad time, why don't you go post your opinion at whocaresaboutmytastelessopinion.com.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
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