John Madden, NFL icon and name behind Madden video game franchise, dies at 85
John Madden, the football legend who coached the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl title, worked as a broadcaster for all four major networks, and lent his name and voice to the massively popular Madden NFL video game series, died Tuesday at 85.
The NFL announced the news and provided a statement from league commissioner Roger Goodell. A cause of death was not disclosed.
"On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe, and their families," Goodell said. "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."
The statement continued: "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."
Born April 10, 1936, in Austin, Minn., Madden played football in high school and college and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958. He took up coaching after a training camp injury ended his playing career, and led the Raiders to a championship in 1977.
After coaching, he became a beloved color commentator, known for his distinctive voice, down-to-earth sensibility, and astute analysis. Over the course of his broadcasting career, he worked for CBS, Fox, ABC, and NBC. He won 16 Sports Emmys, and in 2006 was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But for generations of football and gaming fans, Madden was perhaps best known for his namesake video game series, Madden NFL. Launched as John Madden Football in 1988, the franchise has sold more than 100 million copies across countless platforms. The most recent installment, Madden NFL 22, was released in August.