Following her husband’s death of natural causes at the age of 84, Kathie Lee Gifford was justifiably absent from her Today show co-hosting duties on Monday morning. However, she relayed a message to her audience via co-host Hoda Kotb, telling viewers that Frank’s death was “not a tragedy.”
“I was holding her hand,” said Kotb, “and [Kathie Lee] said, ‘A 4-year-old girl having cancer is a tragedy.’ She said Frank lived to be almost 85. She said he lived an incredible life, has an incredible family and had an incredible legacy. She said his life is a triumph.”
On Twitter, Kathie Lee wrote that she was “deeply grateful” for the “outpouring of grace” following Gifford’s death. “We are steadfast in our faith and finding comfort in knowing where Frank is.”
Frank was best known for his career in sports, playing football for the New York Giants from 1952 to 1964 and being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. He went on to become a sportscaster for CBS and co-hosted Monday Night Football until 1985.
He is survived by Kathie Lee — to whom he’d been married for nearly 30 years — and their two children, as well as his three children from his first marriage to Maxine Avis Ewart.