Phyllis George, Miss America and 'NFL Today' host, dead at 70

Phyllis George has died at age 70. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI
Phyllis George has died at age 70. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo

May 17 (UPI) -- Miss America 1971 Phyllis George has died of a blood disorder at age 70, her family announced.

Her children -- entrepreneur Lincoln Tyler George Brown and CNN White House correspondent Pamela Ashley Brown -- confirmed her Thursday death to the media on Saturday.


Famous for co-hosting the TV shows NFL Today and Candid Camera, she was the first lady of Kentucky while she was married to Gov. John Y. Brown, and founded the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.

"Just as Kentucky embraced Phyllis for the glamour and graciousness she extended to everyone she met, she wholeheartedly embraced Kentucky for its people, its artisans, and its natural scenic beauty," said a death notice provided by her the family.

"She could just as easily sit down on the front porch swing at the house of a basket maker on some little country road in small town Kentucky as she could host a dinner for four U.S. presidents at the Kentucky governor's mansion."

George appeared on the CBS pregame football from 1971 to 1975 with Brent Musberger and Irv Cros. She returned in 1980 and left in 1983.


"Phyllis George was special. Her smile lit up millions of homes for the NFL Today," Musburger tweeted. "Phyllis didn't receive nearly enough credit for opening the sports broadcasting door for the dozens of talented women who took her lead and soared.

"Folks -- men and women -- were comfortable with Phyllis talking about their favorite sport. And in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, they loved Phyllis despite her Dallas Cowboys bias!"

Sports broadcaster Tim Brando tweeted: "So sad to hear this, as Phyllis broke barriers for women in Sports Television. It wasn't easy, and well documented that many made it tough on her. Proud to have known her,"

Sports reporter Tina Cervasio posted: "Saddened to wake to news Phyllis George passed away~too soon. Condolences to her daughter who followed in her TV footsteps. Phyllis was a pioneer in sports television, paving the way for so many women & tonight I will host a sports show because of her."

Notable deaths of 2020

Richard Thornburgh
Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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