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Tim Hyland

Joe Paterno, Penn State Legend, Dead at 85

By January 22, 2012

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It's a sad and tragic end for a man who accomplished so much and impacted the lives of so many: On Sunday morning, legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno passed away at the age of 85.

Paterno, who was fired by Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal back in November, had been battling lung cancer.

The Paterno family issued a statement confirming his death. In it, they said his loss "leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled."

"He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community."

This is without question one of the biggest stories in college football history, and one that has only just begun to be told. Among the many pieces worth reading are the following:

Prominent figures from around the college football world offer their remembrances and tributes to Paterno.

The New York Times weighs in with a very well-done obituary.

Longtime Harrisburg Patriot News columnist David Jones writes about his memories of Paterno.

ESPN.com senior writer Ivan Maisel on Paterno's legacy, and why that legacy is bigger than just the Sandusky scandal.

CNNSI writer Jack McCallum offers up a similar piece. He writes of Paterno: "He was not a perfect man, but he was a man who did more good than bad, someone who made a difference, someone who will be remembered."

Photo: Joe Paterno won 409 games and two national championships during his time at Penn State. (Getty Images)

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