Frank Gifford Biography – Life and Death of The American Football Player

Age/Date of Birth:
August 16, 1930 – August 9, 2015
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Wife or Girlfriend:Maxine Avis Ewart (1952-), Astrid Lindley from 1978 to 1986, Kathie Lee Johnson (1986 until his death)
Parents:Lola Mae (née Hawkins) and Weldon Gifford
Net Worth:$20 million

Frank Gifford was famous as an American football player and television sportscaster. He was born on August 16, 1930, as Francis Newton ‘Frank’ Gifford in Santa Monica, California.

His parents were Weldon Gifford and Lola Mae. It is known that his father worked as an oil driller. Because of poor grades at high school, Gifford initially didn’t get an athletic scholarship for the University of Southern California as he hoped for.

Frank Gifford Football & Television Career

Gifford graduated from the Bakersfield High School and joined University of Southern California (USC) in the second attempt for an athletic scholarship. He was named All-American athlete and player after running 841 yards on 195 carriers in 1951.

Frank Gifford joined NFL for the New York Giants where he played both in offensive and defensive positions. Gifford rose to prominence with eight Pro Bowl appearances after being named as the Most Valuable Player of NFL in 1956. This was after he led his side to the title over Chicago Bears.

As a professional footballer, Gifford played as a wide receiver and halfback for the New York Giants throughout his entire career. He played for the team from 1952 through 1964. Gifford had a total of 3,609 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns on 840 carries. He was regarded as one of the most dynamic players on the field and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 30, 1977.

After retiring from his regular gameplay, Gifford’s broadcasting career began to flourish. He became a broadcaster for CBS, covering football, golf, and basketball.

He started a career as a commentator for NFL games on CBS. Later, he replaced Keith Jackson as a play-by-play announcer on ABC’s ‘Monday Night Football’ after it was launched in 1970, and worked until 1997. The man became a household name on “Monday Night Football’ for about 27 or 28 years.

He also was the host for British TV network Channel 4’s NFL Coverage. Apart from his career in sports, Gifford also guest-starred in NBC television series ‘Hazel’. Likewise, he appeared as himself in the episode ‘The Shortest Yard’ of the ABC sitcom ‘The San Pedro Beach Bums’.


Gifford was nominated for two Emmy awards for his television appearances. The first was in 1974 for Outstanding Achievement in Sports Programming. The second was in 1976 for Outstanding Sports Personality.

That was not all; he got inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. In 1997, Gifford won the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sports Emmy Awards.

List of His Awards and Honors


  • 1951 All-American
  • College Football Hall of Fame (Class of 1975)
  • University of Southern California Athletic Hall of Fame (inaugural class of 1994)


  • Eight-time Pro Bowl selection
  • 1956 NFL MVP (as recognized by UPI)
  • 1956 NFL Champion
  • 1959 Pro Bowl MVP
  • No. 16 retired by the New York Giants
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame (Class of 1977)


  • Two-time Emmy Award winner
    • 1977 – Outstanding Sports Personality
    • 1997 – Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 1995 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award
  • Disney Legend (class of 2008)
  • NSMA Hall of Fame (Class of 2017)
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Frank Gifford’s Net Worth

Frank Gifford was an American football player and sportscaster who had a net worth of $20 million at the time of his death.

Gifford lived a sound life before dying at the age of 84, leaving behind a $20 million net worth for his family. Frank Gifford acquired his wealth through his salary as a commentator and a player.

Death and Funeral Service

Frank Gifford died on Sunday morning, August 9, 2015, at his Greenwich, Connecticut home, a week shy of his 85th birthday. While it has commonly been assumed that the man died from natural causes, his family believes his death was facilitated by the effects of a brain disease he got from football head injuries.

He was found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.), a degenerative brain disease. His family made the diagnosis public so people, including the medical community, would better understand the condition.

Following his death in 2015, Frank’s son Cody Gifford accepted a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award for his father from the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. Frank’s funeral service was private, with just his family and closest friends. He was buried in a family plot located near their home in Connecticut.

His wife Kathie Lee Gifford had this to say about their life together:

“There’s no question that Frank was the love of my life. In a world where people seem to get divorced because they have a hangnail, we were committed to our marriage and to one another.”

Personal Life and Legacies

Until his death, Gifford’s last wife was Kathie Lee Gifford and they were living together with their daughter and son. He met Kathie Lee on the set of “Good Morning America”, and they got married on October 18, 1986.

Frank Gifford and Kathie

Frank Gifford was previously married to Maxine Avis Ewart whom he dated during college. They had 3 children; Victoria, Kylie and Jeff with five grandchildren.

He was reported to have had an affair with other women and afterwards, got married to a fitness trainer called Astrid Lindley. The marriage ended in a divorce. Also, there was a time it circulated that the man was having an affair with Johnny Carson’s wife, Joanne.

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Profile Summary 
First Name:Francis
Last Name:Gifford
Also Known As:
Frank Gifford
Football player, actor, and television sports commentator
Famous For:
Colleges/Universities Attended:
University of Southern California
Educational Qualifications:
Birthday & Zodiac
Age/Date of Birth:
August 16, 1930 – August 9, 2015
Zodiac Sign:Leo
Birth Place:
Santa Monica, California
Country of Residence:
Physical Attributes
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
193 lb (88 kg)
Eye Colour:
Hair Color:
Other Body Measurements:
Not available
Marital Status:
Maxine Avis Ewart (1952-), Astrid Lindley from 1978 to 1986, Kathie Lee Johnson (1986 until his death)
Family and Relatives
Weldon Gifford
Mother:Lola Mae (née Hawkins)
Jeff, Kyle and Victoria, Cody Newton Gifford, Cassidy Erin Gifford
Siblings:An older sister and younger brother, Winona and Waine
Other Relatives:
Not available
Net Worth
Estimated Net Worth:
$20 million
Salary:Not available
Source of Wealth:
Fotball career, acting, television appearance, working as a commentator


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