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Phyllis George, female sportscasting pioneer and Texas native, dies at 70

Originally from Denton, she was crowned Miss America in 1971 before she would go on to change sports broadcasting.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Nov. 28, 1976 file photo, CBS sportscaster Phyllis George is seen in New York. Phyllis George, the former Miss America who became a female sportscasting pioneer on CBS's “The NFL Today” and served as the first lady of Kentucky, has died. She was 70. A family spokeswoman said George died Thursday, May 14, 2020, at a Lexington hospital after a long fight with a blood disorder.(AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis, File)

Phyllis George, the former Miss America who became a female sportscasting pioneer on CBS’s “The NFL Today” and served as the first lady of Kentucky, has died. She was 70. 

A family spokeswoman says George died Thursday at a Lexington, Kentucky, hospital after a long fight with a blood disorder. 

The Denton native was crowned Miss America in 1971 and became a trailblazer when she joined Brent Musburger and Irv Cross in 1975 on “The NFL Today.” 

She attended the University of North Texas in the 1970s before she went on to join "NFL Today."

She also covered horse racing, hosted the entertainment show “People” and co-anchored the “CBS Morning News.” 

RELATED: Remembering Phyllis George: The community remembers the icon who forever changed Kentucky

George was briefly married to Hollywood producer Robert Evans in the mid-1970s before she married John Y. Brown Jr. from 1979-98. 

Brown owned Kentucky Fried Chicken and the NBA’s Boston Celtics and served as the governor of Kentucky from 1979 to 1983.

While she served as the first lady of Kentucky alongside Brown, George made quite the impact on the state, supporting the arts and creative crafts communities of Kentucky. To read more about the legacy she left on the state, click here.   

Many have taken to Twitter to pay their respects and remember the contributions she made to the world, ranging from a who's who in sportscasting to even President Donald Trump. 

CBS Sports also tweeted a statement regarding her death, saying she was "an icon in the sports broadcasting industry who contributed greatly to the rich history and tradition" of the network. 

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