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. hamsta

    @richard even though i rarely agree with banasy i would never wish something like that on her,her child or anyone else in her family.thats just hateful and WRONG.

    January 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hamsta

    @big game james ya kind of funny cnn couldnt catch it on camera even though they were right there making that claim.

    January 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Portland tony

    Yep....He's with Elvis, MJ, and Jesus ; wherever they are! Hogwash!

    January 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    He was an enabler. He was a coward.rot in pieces.

    January 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    Not me at 5:44. I cried a river of tears the day one of my abusers died. My family didn't even want me at his funeral sore afraid they were that I would open my mouth just as I do here. Funny. Some of the replies I recieve from you folks use the same words and phrases common to members of my family. And yeah, many were the times that my own family "trolled" me in real life. Trying to shut me up by making people think I'm the bad guy. The bad guys are those gay men we keep catching raypeing boys. And all who knew that lust is what motivates them yet deny this fact even here on these blogs. The light is just now starting to shine on this stuff. Give it some time. You'll see clearly what needs to be done to these men and those who keep them secret if we are to prevail.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      They weren't gay. They were pedophiles. I'm sorry someone committed crimes against you. It's wrong and they should be punished. But please do not conflate being gay and pedophilia. They are not the same, there is no connection. ALL major and respected psychological associations and professionals agree on this point. I hope you find healing.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. hamsta

    The headline should read:he fought the hard on till the end of sandusky

    January 22, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    I saw this earlier, and it made me laugh, although it was somewhat true:
    Wipe out the school.
    Wipe out the State.
    Wipe out the USA.
    Wipe out men, wipe out women, wipe out s e x, wipe out drugs, wipe out rock and roll.
    Wipe out all rational thought, for that may lead to a beat-down based on gut reaction.
    A witch.
    Tar and feather!

    How about actually getting the bad people instead of painting whole insti tutions as pedophile junction?
    Cover it up? Then by all means, punish.

    Just make sure the person accused is actually guilty instead of assuming so....because assumptions are very, very frequently wrong.

    Again, people are just waiting to dance on this man's grave...and the body isn't even cold.
    Until one shows me tangible evidence, and not plati tudes such as "he had to have known", good judgement dicates innocent until proven guilty.

    January 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzy

      33 yrs of working with Sandusky
      the 1998 investigation
      The boys club telling Sandusky NOT to be with boys alone
      HE KNEW
      And don't tell me you wouldn't know something after working with some one for 33 YEARS!!!!
      Ya know I believe now that you are and enabler and it really kills me to say that cause until tonight I reserved judgement.
      I will not be addressing you EVER again!!!!

      January 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Let's clear one thing up. Joe Patern KNEW. He has already admitted knowing, and to quote him, he "felt inadequate" to deal with the likes of Sandusky. Even a child is adequatly aware that you call the police when you know. Paterno chose to call the men running Penn State instead of alling the proper authorities, and has publicly admitted this in public. Paterno knew just as Mrs. Sandusky knew. Sandusky is a gay man who lusts for boys. Statutory ra pist. They knew all along but didn't say.

    January 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    ...and if they will cover a statutory crime, what won't they cover. What won't men running trusted organizations that have been harboring statutory ra pists not do to protect their reputations and fortunes. These men in trusted positions will stoop to anything. I even had a short thought of Paterno faking his own death.. He's dead now. He paid for his sins with his own life. He didn't live long enough to pay for his crimes. Kind of like that old man who died shortly after being busted in the ENRON affair.

    January 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    @Robin. According to the law, they are in fact gay men. Just recently the Department of Justice cleared the way for prosecuters to begin charging gay men with ra ping boys. The Supreme Court's opinion is that this is a violation of a gay mans civil liberties. Hetero men lust for females. Gay men lust for males. Sandusky is a gay man who will be going to prison for ra ping underaged males. Lust was his motive. Men like Sandusky actually call it "love making" when one humps the others anus. Statutory ra pists, NOT pedophiles.

    January 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Theresa

      The DOJ changed the terminolgy of what ra pe is to include males. They did not change the terminolgy of the s exuality of the perps. You are identifying only the parts you wish to agree with. Gay does not equal pedophile, no matter how much you wish it to be. You may also try to shock people with you language, but the truth is: you are wrong in what the DOJ ruled ra pe to be. Please stop picking and choosing things to suit your posts. The DOJ said nothing about gay men. end of story. I realize that you are emotionally retarded because of your past, but to keep throwing false information out there because you have the maturity of a 15 year old is absurd.

      January 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzy

      @ Theresa, Right gay doesn't equal Pet ophile
      Gay = men only
      Pets = boys AND girls
      Get your definitions correct

      January 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzy

      The DOJ included men to be charged with SATUTORY RAYPE that does include men who only raype boys which are gay men! Get me ?

      January 22, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. wrmca

    Let he without sin cast the first stone.
    We humans make mistakes, its who we are.
    JoePa now only needs to answer to the Lord.

    Loss – whatever the situation – is hard on the family.
    To the faimly – my thoughts are with you.

    For all those involved – may some healing and peace come from this.

    January 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    Paterno already said he knew, and said he alerted Penn State authorities instead of the law. In hindsight, he acknowledged thathe should have simply called the proper authorities. Many of the victims could have called the cops too. I was 15 when I finally enough emotional development tucked under my belt to go to the police. It's a scary thing for an abused boy to do. It means that you become the black sheep of the family. But Paterno wasn't a mere boy. He was a wise old man who knew better.

    January 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Theresa

      Philip. He alerted the people he was supposed to alert. That you did not like the authority structure of uhe University doesn't matter. He did what he was supposed to do. Let the man alone already.

      January 22, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Philip

    *15 before my emotianal capacity had developed to that of an 8 yr. old. Being abused stunts your emotional development. By the time I was 15 I had become fully aware of the fact that if I didn't do anything, nothing would get done and the cycle of abuse would continue. Funny, The department of Social services and the Police department understood that these things need talked about a LOT. Others are of the "water under the bridge" mentality, even though that water is still dank.

    January 22, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    ...just as some confuse sin with crime. Jesus died for our sins, not our crimes. Even if Sandusky does actually stop lusting for males and truly repents for his sins and is in fact forgiven, he's still a criminal and must pay for his crimes for justice to be satisfied. Jesus didn't die so crusty old gay men could stalk boys and ra pe them with impunity. He died so that honest hearted individuals could still be found favorable in god's eyes even though the make mistakes. The english word 'sin' is taken from latin, and literally means "missing the mark of perfection". What these gay men do to our boys aren't simple cases of imperfection. They are well thought-out crimes executed to perfection, right down to the coverup. God may forgive you Sandusky. But then there is Justice screaming your name.

    January 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Theresa

      Sandusky! Exactly. Not Paterno. SANDUSKY!

      January 22, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    Many of todays organized religions call themselves together when one of their gay members are caught ra ping a boy. They don't even alert the police! The only cases that see the light of day are the ones where one of the abused boys grows up enough to speak out about it, otherwise, it would still be a secret kept by church officials. Prosecuting religious leaders who knew but didn't call the police is what must be done for Justice to prevail.

    January 22, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Theresa

      Then you should have done it yourself!

      January 22, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzy

      @ Theresa, He already said he did it himself... meaning he told police about his abuse. cant you read?

      January 22, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
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