NFL legend John Madden passes away at 85

(Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary)

One of the most important figures in the history of the National Football League died on Tuesday.

John Madden — the Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster — has passed away at the age of 85.

Madden was the voice of the NFL for multiple generations of football fans, the greatest color analyst in league history from 1979-2008. Madden worked as a color analyst for all four major networks: CBS (1979–1993), Fox (1994–2001), ABC (2002–2005), and NBC (2006–2008). Madden’s pairing with play-by-play commentator Pat Summerall from 1981-2001 made for one of the most iconic announcing duos in American sports history.

Before that, Madden was a Hall of Fame coach for the Oakland Raiders, leading them to a win in Super Bowl XI in 1976.

Madden spent his entire NFL head coaching tenure with the Raiders, compiling a 103-32 regular-season record from 1969-1978. His .759 career winning percentage is the best of all-time for coaches who have coached at least 100 games.

Madden was also an icon for another generation of football fans, who became acquainted with his name thanks to the Madden NFL video game series, which began in 1988 and continues to this day.

Below is a press release on Madden’s passing via the NFL:

Earlier today we received the sad news that the great John Madden died unexpectedly this morning. He was 85.

“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We all know him as the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster who worked for every major network, but more than anything, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather.

“Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football. He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today.”

Memorial service information will be announced when available.

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