Barack Obama, President Biden, Other Political Leaders Mourn Death of NFL Legend Franco Harris
Politics

Barack Obama, President Biden, Other Political Leaders Mourn Death of NFL Legend Franco Harris

US Senator and Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama (L) walks out with former Pittsburgh Steelers players Jerome Bettis (2nd L) and Franco Harris (2nd R) and Pennsylvania Democratic US Senator Bob Casey (R) on March 28, 2008 at the Soldiers and Sailors Military Museum and Memorial in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Barack Obama (L), then a Illinois senator, walks out with former Pittsburgh Steelers players Jerome Bettis (2nd L) and Franco Harris (2nd R) and Pennsylvania Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey (R) on March 28, 2008 at the Soldiers and Sailors Military Museum and Memorial in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images)

Once word got out yesterday that legendary Pittsburgh Steelers player Franco Harris had died at 72, the world immediately began mourning the football great—including giants in politics.

Former president Barack Obama recalled watching the NFL Hall of Fame legend while growing up. He also reflected on getting to know Harris years later.

“I grew up watching Franco Harris, and had the honor of getting to know him years later. He was an extraordinary man on and off the field, and will be missed. Our thoughts go out to his family and all of Steeler Nation.”

 

President Joe Biden mentioning how Harris, a friend for 50 years, spent some time with his sons after he lost his first wife and infant daughter.

“Franco Harris is known for the glory he brought to football. But I knew him for his character and compassion–someone who spent time with my boys after we lost my first wife and infant daughter. May God bless Franco Harris, a dear friend of 50 years and a great American.”

Politicians from Pennsylvania also expressed their grief over the loss of the Pittsburgh legend. The outgoing Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, spoke about being with Harris two months ago to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, one of the most famous plays in NFL history.

Pennsylvania Senator-elect John Fetterman posted a photo of Harris supporting him in his race to become a senator and also sent his condolences to Harris’ family.

“Gisele and I are devastated by this news. We are sending our deepest condolences to Franco’s family. Franco was a true legend and icon on and off the field. He was a truly selfless man. It was an honor to have gotten to know him over the years. I will miss him dearly.”

The Associated Press reported that Harris’ son, Dok, confirmed the football legend’s death. The cause of death was not stated.

Harris totaled 12,120 yards and won four Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s. He initiated the Steelers dynasty when he caught a last-second pass from Bradshaw in a playoff game against the Oakland Raiders in 1972.

He ended his career as the NFL’s third all-time leading rusher behind Walter Payton and Jim Brown.

The Steelers icon also leaves behind his wife, Dana Dokmanovich.


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