Francis Newton Gifford (August 16, 1930 – August 9, 2015) was an American football player and television sports commentator. After a 12-year playing career as a running back and flanker for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL), he was a play-by-play announcer and commentator for 27 years on ABC’s Monday Night Football.
Gifford won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award in 1956, the same season he won his only NFL Championship. During his career, he participated in five league championship games and was named to eight Pro Bowls. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. After retiring as a player, Gifford was an Emmy Award-winning sportscaster, known for his work on ABC’s Monday Night Football, Wide World of Sports and the Olympics. He was married to television host Kathie Lee Gifford from 1986 until his death on August 9, 2015.
In November 2015, Gifford’s family revealed that he had suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The family said, “After losing our beloved husband and father, Frank Gifford, we as a family made the difficult decision to have his brain studied in hopes of contributing to the advancement of medical research concerning the link between football and traumatic brain injury … We decided to disclose our loved one’s condition to honor Frank’s legacy of promoting player safety dating back to his involvement in the formation of the NFL Players Association in the 1950s.