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. saywhat

    His services to the game should be remembered and those who believe should pray for his soul. No point now in maligning him that would only hurt his family more.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Paterno takes the secrets of child molestation to his grave. It was Karma that brought this case forward before his death and allowed justice to end his career the way it did! Paterno deserves no accolades, he does not deserve to burn in hell but he should find himself in purgatory!

      January 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Richard:
      Sounds like you know something about what went on, and how much Paterno supposedly knew.
      You had better tell all of the authorities, lest you be painted with the same tar brush...oh wait.
      You alreadydid.
      Karma doesn't work that way...be wary: it might slap you in the face...

      January 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Well banasy, paterno got exactly what he deserved in the end! It is karma that he wound up leaving a legacy that showed his success to be part of a cover up to protect a football team and his position as a coach, rather than speak up and protect the welfare of children.. He goes down in shame.. maybe karma here is for you! defending someone like this, maybe it'll be your child or family member that gets pushed aside for "the good of the team/school"

      January 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      "Richard":
      I feel sorry for anyone who will get in the way of your truth.
      I am in no way defending what anyone did, but you have just shown yourself to be just as unjust as what was done to these boys.

      Do you know something tangible about what Mr. Paterno knew or didn't know?
      If so, enlighten us.
      If not, save you lynch mob mentality to something that is actually proven, as in a court of law, and not in your own narrow mind.

      May your children never have to know the horror of what these boys went through.
      And may you grow up.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lenora Lewis

    Joe Paterno's punishment far exceeded the his mistake. May he rest in peace.

    January 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Terry

    Joe Paterno was a great man. He was human. He made a mistake in judgement but he did what he thought was right to do at the time. It is very unfair that Penn State chose to take away from the legacy that this man rightfully earned. Its to late for JoePa, but its not for his legacy. His firing should be overturned and he should be given his place in the history of Penn State that he deserves. JoePa, you made an impact, a good impact, on the lives of many young men. May God find a special place for you to watch the games and may you forever rest in peace. I for one am a person with absolutely no ties to Pennsylvania, Penn State or the Paterno family. I simply ask whats fair for a man who deserved it.

    January 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. david

    I had the priviledge of meeting him. Far better man than I will ever be. The lessons he taught are those that can make us better.

    January 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    @saywhat:
    I agree.
    The absolute hatred for this man by a few vigilantes is blown all out of proportion, and completley unwarranted.

    My sympathy and condolences to this man's family and many, many friends.

    January 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      Amen Banasy, well said.

      January 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brian

    Paterno got off easy.

    January 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Paterno is dead.

      January 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      no he didn't...sandusky did..

      January 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Яight Wing Иutcase"

    I don't buy this CNN hovering blow by blow coverage of this man's cancer, no matter what transpired between him and Sandusky. Really...Paterno has enough on his plate.
    I lost both my mother and my father to cancer, and it's not easy for the family, it's just not. It's not a picnic for the any family to accept that a loved one has and will pass on from cancer.

    January 22, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JPA

    May he Rest in Peace

    Sad end to a great career.

    People need to learn even though it may hurt it's always better to tell the truth.

    January 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Big Game James

    Boy never knew there were so many perfect angels in America. The man alerted superiors. They dropped the ball. Odds are some of you posters know about something illegal going on or have done illegal and IMMORAL things and don't say a word! RIP Coach Paterno. You are on of the legends of the game always. Sandusky...now you have blood on your hands. If folks are so upset maybe they'd grow a pair and 'storm the castle.' Sandusky needs to be drawn and quartered! For those of you who don't know what that is its what happened to Mel Gibson at the end of 'Braveheart.' Then his victims will have SOME justice. Love to my friend Nicole M. Penn State grad. She loved that old man like he was her father.

    January 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Agrred, BGJ.

      January 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    He had lung cancer. His death was hardly unexpected.
    The wrong man died.

    January 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jay

    Its sad that he got cancer and died. Whatever happens to his legacy is totally deserved.

    January 22, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hamsta

    Just saying cnn is so biased and full of errors.just to name a few recent examples:that supposed fake email.cnn is known to be downright nasty when they decide they dont politicaly like someone or a group of someones.like the tea party-labeled them racist unamerican and antigovernment just because they dont agree with an unamerican president who does not listen to what america says and his wasteful spending and one size fits all policies.now they glamourize a man that allowed children to be victimized again and again and again as if he were some kind of hero and did the right thing by telling his boss who did nothing.well he fell short of his responsibility when he failed to make sure something was done.

    January 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bigwilliestyles

    If it were not for public outrage, people who were unwilling to accept things at face value, Nixon and his crew would have never been connected to the Watergate break-in, we would not have known the full extent of Iran/Contra, or heard that 'smartest guy in the room' conversation at Enron. The main difference in this crime is the raype of young boys; the defending and cover-up will come out in the long run.

    January 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Darlene

    What a sad day. Joe was a special person and it is sad to see him pass with the cloud that was over him. I pray for his family and will keep Joe in my thoughts forever.

    January 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Big Game James

    @Hamsta I hate to go off subject but CNN had nothing to do with the Tea Party being labeled racist. The Tea Party members walking around their rallies with monkey puppets and pictures of Obama dressed as a bushman did that. The Tea Party hates to admit they have wolves in the henhouse! And if CNN is so wrong why add to their number of web hits to boost their advertising prices that help them prosper if you are such a staunch opponent of CNN. You read the article and commented on it. Just saying.

    January 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
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