Hoda Kotb Is ‘Heartbroken’ On Her Birthday As News Breaks Of Frank Gifford’s Death

Hoda Kotb took to Twitter earlier today to share condolences and offer a photo of happy times after the news broke that her good friend and Today Show co-host, Kathie Lee Gifford, had lost her husband.

Kotb and many other celebrities shared heartfelt memories and prayers after word hit the web that Frank had passed away of natural causes in his sleep this morning. Frank, 84, was a former New York Giants running back and longtime commentator, and was well-known and respected in his field.

“It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved husband, father and friend, Frank Gifford. Frank died suddenly this beautiful Sunday morning of natural causes at his Connecticut home. We rejoice in the extraordinary life he was privileged to live, and we feel grateful and blessed to have been loved by such an amazing human being. We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time and we thank you for your prayers,” the family’s statement read.

The sad news came on Hoda Kotb’s birthday, but she took the time to reach out to Kathie Lee and to share happier times on social media in the midst of her birthday celebration.

Frank Gifford’s family has received an outpouring of support this weekend, including from Giants co-owner John Mara (uncle to actresses Kate and Rooney Mara).

“Frank Gifford was the ultimate Giant. He was the face of our franchise for so many years. More importantly, he was a treasured member of our family. My father loved him like a son and was proud to act as his presenter for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a favor Frank returned years later by presenting my father in Canton. For my siblings and me, Frank was like a revered older brother whom we looked up to and admired. We loved him and will miss him terribly,” Mara said.

Hoda Kotb certainly knows what it’s like to deal with pain and loss; the television star has battled breast cancer for nine years and announced earlier this year that her third inspirational book, Where They Belong: The Best Decisions People Almost Never Make, will be published early next year.

Photo courtesy YouTube