Joe Paterno Dies at 85
The man affectionately known as "JoePa" won more games than any other major-college football coach and was known for his good sportsmanship, but his career ended amid a sexual abuse scandal that rocked Penn State and its football program.
After the team's former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years, Paterno announced on Nov. 9 that he would retire at the end of the 2011 season.
But concerned about the escalating scandal, Penn State's trustees voted to fire Paterno that night, and they also fired Penn State University President Graham Spanier.
Less than 10 days after Paterno announced his retirement, his son Scott said publicly that his father had been diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer, the AP noted. Soon afterward, Paterno broke his pelvis following a fall but did not undergo surgery, the news agency added.
Since Jan. 13, Paterno had been under observation in the hospital for what his family said were minor complications from cancer treatments, the AP noted.
Paterno's family released a statement Sunday morning announcing his death, saying: "His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled."
"He died as he lived," the statement said. "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."