Franco Harris, Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers running back, dies at 72. Check out what happened to him and how did he die.
Franco Harris : What happened to | How did die | Wife
Harris was born in Fort Dix, New Jersey. His father, Cad Harris, a black soldier, served in World War II and was stationed in Italy during the war.
His mother, Gina Parenti Harris, was a native Italian and became a “war bride“, who moved with her husband when he returned to the United States after the end of the war.
Harris graduated from Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly Township, New Jersey, in 1968.
He then attended Penn State University, where he played on the Nittany Lions football team.
What happened to Franco Harris
Harris, whose heads-up thinking authored the most iconic play in NFL history, has died. He was 72.
The ball fluttered in the air and all but one of the 22 players on the Three Rivers Stadium turf on that cold December day 50 years ago essentially stopped.
The Pittsburgh Steelers running back kept right on going, the instincts that carried him through his life both on and off the field during his Hall of Fame career taking over, shifting the perception of a moribund franchise and a reeling region in the process.
The Steelers rarely won before his arrival in 1972. The moment his shoe-top grab eternally known as the “Immaculate Reception” entered the lexicon, they rarely lost.
Harris, whose heads-up thinking authored the most iconic play in NFL history, has died. He was 72. Harris’ son, Dok, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his father died overnight. No cause of death was given.
His death comes two days before the 50th anniversary of the play that provided the jolt that helped transform the Steelers from also-rans into the NFL’s elite, and three days before Pittsburgh is scheduled to retire his No. 32 during a ceremony at halftime of its game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Harris had been busy in the run-up to the celebration, doing media interviews Monday to talk about a moment to which he is forever linked.
How did Franco Harris die
Sources confirmed to Pittsburgh Action News 4, that Franco Harris, the Pittsburgh Steelers Hall-of-Famer died of natural causes at the age of 72, a few days before the 50th anniversary of Immaculate reception.
Tributes to Harris poured in on social media Wednesday morning.
“Franco Harris was so much more than just one play,” ESPN’s Mike Greenberg tweeted. “He was one of the great backs of his time, or any time, and the heartbeat of the offense of those legendary #Steelers teams. He was also as classy a gentleman as you could ever hope to meet. RIP Franco, thanks for the memories.”
Pennsylvania state Sen. Jay Costa offered his tribute.
“Franco’s legacy in our community will be forever one of joy, victory, and pride in the Steel City,” Costa tweeted. “Rest well, my friend.”
And from former NFL head coach Tony Dungy:
“Woke up this morning to the devastating news that my friend Franco Harris passed away during the night. One of the kindest, gentlest men I have ever known,” Dungy said. “He was a great person & great teammate. Hall of Fame player but so much more than that. A tremendous role model for me!”
Dana and Franco were married for many years before Franco’s death.
Throughout their union, Dana attended a number of public events with her husband, a former football player for the NFL.
However, she has kept most details of her personal life private, as a great deal of information about her is unknown.
Widely regarded for his role in “The Immaculate Reception,” Franco played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks.
Dana and Franco have a son named Dok whom they raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Dok is an attorney who is also involved in the business realm.
According to his Facebook page, he studied political economy at Princeton University before attending the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.