After just one week off the ‘TODAY’ show set, Kathie Lee Gifford made her return on Aug. 17 for the first time since her husband, Frank Gifford’s, death. But despite the undoubtedly hard time she’s going through, Kathie remained composed while giving an emotional and eloquent speech about Frank’s sudden passing.
Kathie Lee Gifford, 61, was the ultimate professional during her first day back on the TODAY show following her husband, Frank Gifford’s, Aug. 9 death. The talk show host was beyond poised throughout her Aug. 17 return, even while speaking about her late husband’s life and remembering him with a beautiful message
Besides just thanking viewers and fans for their well wishes and prayers, Kathie made sure to give us an inside look at the ‘private Frank.’ “We laughed up to the very end,” she gushed. “I just want everyone to know that this was a man who was at complete peace in his life. He might have been the happiest, most content person in his life at this point.”
Frank died suddenly at the age of 84 on Aug. 9, and Kathie admits to being happy that it happened so quickly and peacefully, because it’s what her husband would have wanted. “I’m grateful the Lord took him that way,” she explained. “Because the only thing Frank was ever afraid of in his entire life was being a burden to those he loved.”
While Frank eventually became an NFL legend and renowned sportscaster, Kathie explained that he grew up “dirt poor” during the depression, and going through those tough times shaped him to be the man he was. “He knew what it was like to be hungry,” Kathie told the audience. “He knew what it was like to have no clothes on his back.” She added that it was faith that kept Frank and his family going through the hardest moments. “He’d want you to know that he died in complete peace,” she concluded. “He knew every sin he ever committed was forgiven.”
Kathie met Frank when he was filling in as a host on Good Morning America after her divorce from Paul Johnson in 1983. They married three years later and had two kids, Cassidy and Cody, together. Frank also had three children from his previous marriage to Maxine Avis Ewart.
Our thoughts remain with Kathie and her family during this difficult time.
— Alyssa Norwin