Joe Paterno Dead: Ex-Penn State Coach Dies At 85 [UPDATED]

01/21/2012 08:52 pm ET | Updated Jan 22, 2012

UPDATE, 10:34 AM, JANUARY 22: Paterno died Sunday, the AP reports.



A spokesperson for the Paterno family has denied a report by CBS that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has died. CBS previously reported that the 85-year-old college-football legend had succumbed in his battle with lung cancer.

Earlier on Saturday, the family announced that Paterno's condition had taken a turn for the worse.

"Over the last few days Joe Paterno has experienced further health complications," family spokesman Dan McGinn told The Associated Press. "His doctors have now characterized his status as serious.

The CBS report on Paterno's death was based on a tweet by Onward State, an online Penn State news outlet.

In response to the spread of the initial report of Paterno's death, Scott Paterno, one of the coach's sons, tweeted that he remains in serious condition but alive.

After it was revealed that Joe Paterno was still alive, Onward State addressed their earlier tweet, citing sources with knowledge of the coach's death. The initial tweet has been deleted.

A short time later, the managing editor of Onward State resigned.

Paterno's diagnosis was revealed in mid November, shortly after he was dismissed from his duties as coach of the Nittany Lions. Paterno's removal came in the aftermath of the arrest of Jerry Sandusky, a longtime Paterno lieutenant facing more than 50 counts of sexual abuse against children. Amid evidence that Paterno had been notified of the abuse but had done little beyond his legal obligation to prevent it, the Penn State board of trustees voted to dismiss the longtime coach in November. The scandal reverberated beyond college football, and sullied a reputation that had once seemed unimpeachable — particularly in central Pennsylvania, where Paterno, or "JoePa," was revered.

During his 46 seasons coaching Penn State, Paterno racked up 409 wins -- the the record for a Division I football coach. He guided his teams to national championships in 1982 and 1986.

Paterno is a Brooklyn native who has lived for decades with his wife Sue near the Penn State campus. The couple has five children.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story reported Paterno's death and did not properly attribute the source. We apologize for the error.

Suggest a correction