Sports presenter and former Miss America pioneer Phyllis George died

Sports presenter and former Miss America pioneer Phyllis George died
Sports presenter and former Miss America pioneer Phyllis George died

Television pioneer Phyllis George, who became the first female co-host of the pre-game football show "The NFL Today", passed away. She was 70 years old.

Her death was confirmed by her children, Pamela Brown, a CNN White House senior journalist and businessman Lincoln Brown.

George was born on June 25, 1949 in Denton, Texas. As a trained classical piano player in her youth, she attended North Texas State University before becoming the 50th Miss America in 1971.

That crown, and her magnetic personality brought her national fame. In a 2007 interview, she said, "It was the springboard of everything I've done in my life so far. Her joined the organization's board of directors, one of the first winners to do so."

As Miss America, George inspired "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" and other talk shows, CBS Sports President Robert Wassler, to recruit him for a sports broadcasting job. He joined "NFL Today" in 1975, working with Brent Moosberger, Irv Cross and Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder.

"This paved the way for other women to become sports commentators," said Pamela.

In the 2012 book "Sports on Television" Dennis Dingering wrote that George added character and charm to the character studio program, and his ability to reassure interviewees has shown many openings and a personal side that never made it before. "Was also seen by the audience."

Moseberger said in a statement Saturday night that George's smile "lit up millions of homes." "Not enough credit was taken for opening the doors of sports broadcasting to the dozens of talented women who shot and shot themselves," George said.

George also covered major sporting events, including Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Super Bowl and Rose Bowl. Her co-hosted various television hats, "Candid Camera" for several years and led the television version of "People" magazine.

Many fans became aware of her leading role on sports television, remembering Pamela, but many skeptics also wrote: "I had a whole box of letters, who wrote it and did a terrible job." "'What do you think you are doing? Who do you think you are?' Because it was a man's job. Mother said that when she stopped reading the letter, she gained a lot of confidence. "

Decades later, when Pamela began her television career, her mother always watched. Pamela said, "She was my greatest defender, but also my best critic. She always made me better."

Lincoln agreed: "Mother lived her life to a high standard and set a high standard for all. Those who will always cling to us are qualities that the public has never seen, especially in the winds of adverse conditions In, they symbolize how extraordinary he is. In anything. The beauty that recognizes beauty outside is her inner beauty and her unwavering spirit.

George John in 1979. Married Brown Jr. Shortly after her marriage, she decided to apply and eventually won the Kentucky governor's race. The local press called Felice a "flying paper" because wherever Brown would go, crowds would come to her new husband's pride and entertainment.

Her children preferred a different surname to her mother: Storm Feel. "Because there was no limit to her energy," Pamela said.

Both children were born when George was the first woman from Kentucky.

On the way, a family said that Kentucky embraced Phyllis for Glaris and Grace and she embraces Kentucky with complete honesty from all, her people, her artisans, and her own natural beauty.

"She could easily sit on the porch swing in front of a basketmaker's house on a small country road in the small town of Kentucky, as she could host dinner for four United States presidents in the governor's mansion . "

In 1980, in her role as cultural ambassador to the state, George founded the Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation, now known as the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. She attracted department stores such as Bloomingdale's to carry Kentucky crafts.

John Brown served as governor until the end of 1983, and lost a second run for the post in 1987. George kept herself busy: she co-hosted "CBS Morning News" in 1985. She then founded Chicken by George, which was sold in 1988 to Hormel Foods.

George and Brown divorced in 1998. Later in life, George established a beauty line, marketed on the HSN television shopping network and published an inspirational book, "Never Say Never, Dubbed" Life. One of America's favorite celebrities. ""

George became a grandmother in 2018 when Pamela's son Benny was born. Pamela gave birth to a daughter, Vivienne, in February, and George went to visit her granddaughter shortly before being hospitalized for complications from a blood disorder, Polycythemia Vera.

Pamela and Lincoln said that George had been diagnosed with the disorder for the first time 35 years ago, and that she lived with it for longer than expected from doctors.

"This is a testament to her unwavering spirit and determination that she has had for so long, more than any doctor has considered possible for more than 10 years," Lincoln said.

She said that "perseverance and unwavering optimism against extreme adversity" which earned him the most praise.

George shared his optimistic outlook in speeches and interviews for decades.

"I'm from Denton, Texas, and I'll never let you or anyone else forget it," George said in a 1985 interview. I am a small town girl and small town girl. Coming from Denton, I will not sit here with this great work and my great husband and my beautiful children. ""

"Life is what you do," George said. "This is how I go around the country to give lectures. Because if it can happen to me, it can happen to you, to you and to you as well. That's what you want. My old expression is: ' If you sleep. If you snore, you lose more. "

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