LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Phyllis George, a trailblazer in sports journalism, has died. She was 70.

George died Thursday of complications from a blood disorder, a family spokesperson said.

She was the nation’s first female sportscaster to work at a major TV network. She was hired at CBS in 1974.

The former Miss America winner was a key member of the popular football show, “The NFL Today.”

George was also the former first lady of Kentucky in 1979 when she was married to Governor John Y. Brown Jr.

George leaves behind a son, Lincoln Tyler George Brown, and a daughter, CNN White House correspondent Pamela Ashley Brown.

Both released a joint statement to the Associated Press, which read:

“For many, Mom was known by her incredible accomplishments as the pioneering female sportscaster, 50th Miss America and first lady. But this was all before we were born and never how we viewed Mom. To us, she was the most incredible mother we could ever ask for, and it is all of the defining qualities the public never saw, especially against the winds of adversity, that symbolize how extraordinary she is more than anything else. The beauty so many recognized on the outside was a mere fraction of her internal beauty, only to be outdone by an unwavering spirit that allowed her to persevere against all the odds.”

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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