Joe Paterno, who racked up more wins than anyone else in major college football but was fired from Penn State amid a child sex abuse scandal, has died, his family confirmed this morning. He was 85. Paterno "died as he lived," read the statement. "He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been." Paterno's son Scott announced Nov. 18 that his father was being treated for lung cancer, which was diagnosed in mid-November during a follow-up visit for a bronchial illness.
The storied career of "JoePa" included 409 wins in 46 seasons and two national championships. But his reputation for success with honor was shattered when a former assistant was charged with molesting 10 boys during a 15-year span, including some in the Penn State athletic complex. Critics said Paterno should have done more to stop it. He was fired Nov. 9. In all, Paterno guided five teams to unbeaten, untied seasons. Click for the full text of the Paterno family statement.