Former “Miss America” Phyllis George is dead at the age of 70.
According to various reports, George had been diagnosed with a rare blood cancer called polycythemia vera 35 years ago, and had battled the condition ever since.
“It’s a testament to her unwavering spirit and determination she made it this long, 10 years longer than any doctor ever thought possible,” George’s children Pamela Brown and Lincoln Brown said of their mother.
Indeed, while her beauty was something to be cherished, her grit was even more impressive. George has the unique title of serving as the first female co-anchor on The NFL Today, working alongside broadcasting legends such as Brent Musburger, Irv Cross and Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder.
“I knew more about sports than some people gave me credit for when I started,” George said in an interview with People magazine back in 1976. “I’m from Texas, and down there you follow the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys or you don’t belong. So, when I pick up the morning paper, the sports pages come first and the fashion pages come last.”
“Mom lived her life to a high standard and set a high standard for everyone else,” added her son Lincoln. “What will forever stay with us are the defining qualities the public never saw, especially against the winds of adversity, that symbolize how extraordinary she is more than anything else. The beauty so many recognized on the outside was a mere fraction of her internal beauty and unwavering spirit.”
We send our condolences to all those who mourn this trailblazer’s death.