Legendary NFL coach and sportscaster John Madden died "unexpectedly" Tuesday morning at the age of 85, the league announced later in the day.

“On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. “We all know him as the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster who worked for every major network, but more than anything, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather."

Madden, who was born in Austin, Minnesota, in 1936, had a short career as a player in the NFL. An injury in his rookie year with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958 took him off the field, but he returned as a coach in 1960, first at the college level and then the NFL. He won a Super Bowl with the Oakland Raiders over the Minnesota Vikings in 1977.


After ending his coaching career in 1979, which was due to a bleeding ulcer, and claiming he did not have"anything left" to give, Madden became a color commentator and went on to win 16 Emmy awards. He later became the name and face of the popular Madden NFL video game series. Madden was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

John Madden
John Madden. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

He appeared in a Fox Sports documentary that aired on Christmas Day in which he said, "Football is my life. It’s something I say proudly. But, it’s complicated."

Madden was well known to have an aversion to flying and used a bus to travel to NFL games. He rode around on a Greyhound bus converted into the "Madden Cruiser," which he donated to the Hall of Fame in 2018, CBS Sports reported.

Madden was married to Virginia Fields, and the couple had two sons together, Joe and Mike, according to the Los Angeles Times.


“Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football. He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today,” Goodell added in his statement.

Memorial service information will be announced when available, the NFL said.