Giacinto Gorga has died. The father of The Real Housewives Of New Jersey stars Teresa Giudice and her brother Joe Gorga was 76 years old. His cause of death is currently unknown.
Teresa posted the devastating news on her Instagram account just moments ago.
"My father, my protector, my hero, God took you early this morning to be with mommy, I saw you peacefully pass & I know you kept fighting for my daughters and I. I have so many amazing thoughts of you, every day seeing you in the kitchen at my home, teaching my girls to cook, my partner in crime on shopping trips, your love of the shore & my travel buddy. You always wanted everyone to have a good time, eat great food, have a stiff drink and enjoy life. You are the absolute strongest man I know & I know you missed mommy so much but you stayed for us. Thank you for being the best husband, father & Nonno. Your devotion to mommy was one for the record books, you were the true example and a gentleman and devoted husband. You visited mommy every single day & would go twice for the days you missed while traveling or if you were to sick to go, my silver lining is knowing you'll be together now. Thank you for showing us all what true love is. Love you Papa Rest In Peace," she wrote.
Teresa's brother Joe also posted a message about his father's passing.
"I can't believe he is gone. The world lost an amazing man human being today. He was exactly what a true father and husband should be. I will miss you more than you know, But go find your wife because I know that's all you want and all you've ever talked about for the past 3 years. You will be missed every single day. You had energy that lit up a room and everyone fell in love with you. You were truly one of a kind. I'm so happy you're in no more pain. Rest In Peace. Finally," Joe wrote.
Joe's wife Melissa echoed those sentiments in a post of her own.
"Heaven just got another angel. You've been the only Dad I've known for the past 16 years. You were such an incredible man and such a loving Nonno.. they don't make them like you anymore. Thank you for teaching my husband how to treat his wife the way you treated yours. Thank you for teaching me how to cook everything I make. Thank you for all the energy you've always brought everywhere you went. Run to your wife. She's waiting for you. RIP we will miss you forever," she wrote.
Teresa Giudice's lawyer released a statement on Giacinto's passing.
"Everyone is devastated. He was such a kind-hearted and loving man. He will be greatly missed by all of those who were fortunate to know him, but especially his children and grandchildren who absolutely adored him," James J. Leonard told People Magazine.
On Thursday, several members of the Gorga and Giudice families took to social media to ask for prayers for Giacinto. Teresa wrote that her dad was "struggling" and asked for "extra prayers" for him, but did not reveal further details about what was going on.
He's Had Health Issues Over The Past Few Years & Was Hospitalized In JanuaryGiacinto Gorga has had some health issues over the years that seem to have gotten worse after his wife Antonia died back in 2017. Shortly after her passing, Giacinto had a mild case of pneumonia. He seems to have struggled with lung-related issues since then and has been in and out of the hospital. His most recent pneumonia diagnosis came just before the holidays.
Giacinto was most recently hospitalized in January, though the reason for the hospitalization is unclear at this time.
Teresa and Joe's mother Antonia had pneumonia when she died a few years ago. She was just 66 years old.
He's Been On Several Episodes Of 'The Real Housewives Of New Jersey' & Has Been Living With Teresa And Her 4 Daughters Since Losing His WifeGiacinto -- lovingly referred to as "Nonno," which is Italian for grandfather -- was featured in several episodes of RHONJ. He had been living with Teresa and her four daughters since Antonia passed away.
Giacinto has been a rock for Teresa, who has had a tough few years. Not only did she go to jail, but her husband Joe Giudice also went to jail, which left her raising her four daughters as a single parent.
After losing her mom, Teresa became even closer to her dad.
In September, Giacinto celebrated his 76th birthday with his family. He was treated to a dinner and lots of love from his kids and his grandkids.
"Happy 76th birthday Papa!! We are so lucky to have you every day with us & you've given me more than you'll ever know," Teresa wrote on Instagram at the time. "Thank you for your strength & showing my family above everything," she added.