Phyllis George, A female sportscasting pioneer and the former Miss America has died at age 70, who became the first female co-anchor of the football pregame show “The NFL Today,”
Her death came as a surprise to her fans.
Meanwhile, George, a family spokesperson, said, on Thursday at a Lexington, Kentucky, hospital after a long fight with a blood disorder.
Her children, Lincoln Tyler George Brown and CNN White House correspondent Pamela Ashley Brown, released a joint statement, saying:
“For many, Mom was known by her incredible accomplishments as the pioneering female sportscaster, 50th Miss America, and first lady. But this was all before we were born and never how we viewed Mom. To us, she was the most incredible mother we could ever ask for, and it is all of 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, only to be outdone by an unwavering spirit that allowed her to persevere against all the odds.”
George was born in Denton, Texas, on June 25, 1949. A trained classical pianist in her youth, she attended North Texas State University before becoming the 50th Miss America in 1971.
George married John Y. Brown Jr. in 1979. Shortly after their marriage, he decided to run for and eventually won, the race for Kentucky governor. The local press affectionately called Phyllis “flypaper” because everywhere the Browns went, the crowds turned out for her, not him, much to the pride and amusement of her new husband.