Joe Paterno, whose tenure as the most successful coach in major college football history ended abruptly in November amid allegations that he failed to respond forcefully enough to a sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant, died Sunday, his family said. He was 85.
The longtime Penn State head coach was diagnosed with what his family had called a treatable form of lung cancer shortly after the university’s Board of Trustees voted to fire him.
He had been hospitalized in December after breaking his pelvis in a fall at his home and again in January for what his son called minor complications from his cancer treatments.
“It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today,” the family statement said. “His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled.”
Paterno died at 9:25 a.m. Sunday, surrounded by his family, State College’s Mount Nittany Medical Center said in a statement.