Following a day of swirling rumors, speculation, and false reports; the family of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno conforms that he passed away this morning at the age of 85. Paterno had been diagnosed with lung cancer in November, and was hospitalized for a broken pelvis in December.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today," the family statement said. "His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled."

Under his leadership, the Nittany Lions won two national championships, went undefeated five times and finished in the top 25 national rankings 35 times, according to his official Penn State biography.

At the same time, the program never fell under NCAA sanctions for major infractions while producing 13 Academic All-Americans since 2006. In 2009, according to the university, the Nittany Lions posted an 85% graduation rate.

His family said Sunday Paterno died "with a peaceful mind, comforted by his 'living legacy' of five kids, 17 grandchildren, and hundreds of young men whose lives he changed in more ways than can begin to be counted."

[cnn.com]