Remembering Frank Gifford: A Look at the Outpouring of Love on Social Media After His Funeral

In August 2015, the world bid farewell to an iconic figure, Frank Gifford. A celebrated football player, respected sports commentator, and beloved family man, Gifford’s passing left a void in the hearts of many. His funeral service, a poignant tribute to his legacy, was a testament to the impact he had on those around him.

This article dives into the details of that solemn day, offering a glimpse into the heartfelt eulogies, the mournful melodies, and the powerful emotions that filled the room. It’s a look back at a moment of collective mourning and a celebration of a life well-lived. So, join us as we revisit Frank Gifford’s funeral service – a day of tears, smiles, and cherished memories.

About Frank Gifford

Frank Gifford, full name Francis Newton Gifford, belonged to an elite group of American athletes who achieved fame in both their sporting and broadcasting careers. Born on August 16, 1930, in Santa Monica, California, his meteoric rise started in the sport of football. A standout player for the University of Southern California, he earned a place in the College Football Hall of Fame.

During his playing career from 1952–1964, Gifford made astonishing impacts. He became a versatile and invaluable player for the New York Giants. In his 12-year stint, he filled multiple positions – defensive back, wide receiver, and running back. His career milestones include eight Pro Bowl selections and a notable win in the 1956 NFL Championship. For his commendable contributions in the game, Gifford received induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

Post-retirement, Gifford’s impeccable understanding of the sport led him to a flourishing broadcasting career. He joined the Monday Night Football team, cementing his position as a respected sports commentator. An Emmy winner, his broadcast tenure spanned four decades until his retirement in 1998.

Off the field, Gifford was a devoted family man. Married thrice, his longest and most publicized marriage was with talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford. They shared two children, solidifying his status as a family man.

Remembered as a towering figure in sports and broadcasting, Gifford’s life journey was one of triumphs and tireless dedication. His legacy continues to inspire scores of football enthusiasts. Frank Gifford’s departure on August 9, 2015, marked the end of an era, but his imprint remains indelible in the annals of American sports history.

The Frank Gifford Funeral Service: An Overview

With the passing of Frank Gifford in August 2015, a solemn mourning enveloped the world of American football and broadcasting. His funeral service, a reflection of his life, bore testament to his influence and celebrated his legacy.

The service, held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, drew prominent figures in sports, broadcasting, and entertainment circles. Guests included the likes of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, television host Regis Philbin, and former New York Giants players. All came to pay their respects, constituting a testament to Gifford’s multifaceted appeal.

The ceremony highlighted Gifford’s accomplishments, not only in his professional career but also in his personal life. Kathie Lee Gifford, his wife of almost 30 years, delivered a heartfelt eulogy. She recounted stories of Gifford’s time at USC, his tenure with the New York Giants, and his illustrious broadcasting career. But she also painted a picture of Gifford the family man, a side lesser known to the public, yet deeply loved and cherished by those close to him.

Epitomizing Gifford’s disposition, the service was gracefully subdued, embodying his humility and respect for others. Music, one of Gifford’s passions, played a considerable part in the ceremony. The moving renditions of his favorite hymns added a uniquely personal touch, making it all the more poignant.

Analogous to a final bow in the spotlight, the Frank Gifford funeral service encapsulated the layers of his life. It celebrated his demonstrable legacy in the domain of sports, acknowledged his contribution to broadcasting, and above all, paid homage to a well-loved figure whose impact transcends his professional achievements. The service indeed mirrored the man himself – dignified, humble, and impactful. It marked the closing of an influential chapter in American sports and entertainment history.

Key Figures at the Frank Gifford Funeral Service

Among the many attendees, some recognizable personalities stood out at the funeral service. Keeping in mind Frank Gifford’s intersection of sports, broadcasting, and entertainment, these figures represented the varied arenas of Gifford’s life and career.

First on the list, Kathie Lee Gifford, Gifford’s widow, took center stage with her heartfelt eulogy. Kathie Lee, known for her TV personality, painted a vivid picture of Gifford as a man full of love and compassion. Her words echoed in the cathedral, touching every attendee, highlighting the strong bond that existed between the couple.

Secondly, Matt Lauer and Al Roker became the representatives from the broadcasting industry. Both men, fellow broadcasters at NBC, the same network where Gifford cemented his legacy, added star power to the mournful occasion. Their presence underlined the respect and admiration Gifford had earned in his broadcasting career.

Thirdly, Michael Strahan and Tom Coughlin symbolized the sports community’s respect for Gifford. Strahan, a former superstar player for the New York Giants — the same team Gifford led to victory in 1956 — paid his last respects. Coughlin, the then coach of the Giants, also marked his presence, reflecting on the tremendous legacy left by Gifford.

On an unexpected note, Regis Philbin attended the ceremony. Philbin, Kathie Lee’s former talk show co-host, was one of many present from the entertainment world. His presence at Gifford’s final farewell was a testament to the wide-ranging impact Gifford had in his lifetime.

Lastly, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee’s co-host on the “Today” show, was also present. She honored Gifford’s memory, reflecting his influence on both the broadcasting colony and the entertainment world.

The Speeches and Tributes

At Frank Gifford’s funeral service, heartfelt speeches and tributes poured in, reflecting the icon’s deeply etched imprints on people’s hearts. Surrounding him from diverse walks of life, the reverences ranged from professional anecdotes to personal tales of affection, granting insight into the richness of Gifford’s personality.

Regis Philbin, Gifford’s old friend and longtime morning show partner of Kathie Lee, fondly recalled their shared on-air moments. He eulogized the authenticity of Gifford, stating how he always remained grounded, notwithstanding his fame.

Meanwhile, Michael Strahan, a former NFL player turned TV host, shared fond memories of Gifford’s mentoring warmth. Strahan’s tribute elucidated his sincerity, presenting him as a heartfelt mentor off the football field.

Contributing his own tribute, Al Roker, popularly known as America’s weatherman, released a sentimental statement. This tribute recounted Gifford’s kindness and witty sense of humor, something many associated fondly with the star.

Moving on to Matt Lauer, another close friend and co-host of Kathie Lee, his homage highlighted Gifford’s impact on his life. Gifford had left an indelible mark in the broadcasting realm confirmed by Lauer’s tribute.

Tom Coughlin, Gifford’s fellow sportsman, also shared his tribute. He extolled Gifford’s legacy on and off the football field, cementing his stature as a sports icon.

Amidst these tributes was Kathie Lee Gifford herself, vox humana in the tribute to her late husband. With a heart-rending tribute, she focused on their time together as a family. Her speech brought forth Gifford’s warm, loving nature as not only an associate and friend but a devoted family man above all.

Public Reactions to Frank Gifford’s Funeral Service

The funeral service for Frank Gifford elicited a flood of public reactions. Public sentiment turned into a wave of commemorations and reflections on social media platforms. Fans, admirers, and friends posted their tributes, honoring Gifford’s legacy.

*On Twitter, enthusiasts of Frank celebrated his championship career with the New York Giants, citing it as an integral part of NFL history. His exemplary performance as a sportsman was admired by many. For example, one post recalled Gifford’s monumental participation in the ’58 Championship game, acknowledging it as a transformative event for professional football.

*Celebrity engagement, too, was notable. Prominent media personalities like Jimmy Fallon, Ellen Degeneres, and George Stephanopoulos used Twitter to commemorate Gifford’s excellence in both his athletic career and his subsequent broadcasting role for ABC’s “Monday Night Football”. For instance, Fallon tweeted about Gifford’s gentle demeanor off the field, while Stephanopoulos appreciated his contribution to the broadcasting industry.

*Facebook wasn’t left behind either. A multitude of tributes from a broad demographic — youngsters, professionals, retired individuals, sports junkies, and broadcasting enthusiasts — lit up Gifford’s official page. The commonality? Homage to the man’s incredible spirit and his enduring mark on Football.

*Gifford’s widow, Kathie Lee, also took to social media. Posting a heartfelt message on Instagram, she expressed gratitude for the public’s support and prayers. Her words reiterated the deep loss she felt, simultaneously exhibiting the strength she possessed.

*Sports communities, like New York Giants fans and NFL organizations, used social media as a mourning platform. Forums and chat rooms turned into tributaries, rich in memories and tributes, symbolizing Gifford’s irreplaceable importance in the sports world.

Thus, the public terminal of Frank Gifford’s funeral service reverberated far beyond the physical confines of the ceremony. It spanned across digital platforms, manifesting as a testament to Frank Gifford’s wide-reaching influence and popularity.


Frank Gifford’s funeral service was more than a farewell to a beloved figure. It was a testament to the legacy he left in the realms of football and broadcasting. Social media, awash with tributes from fans and celebrities alike, underscored the breadth of his influence. Kathie Lee Gifford’s heartfelt Instagram post further emphasized the depth of gratitude and love felt by those closest to him.

The impact of Gifford’s life and career resonated far beyond the physical ceremony, echoing in the digital tributes that spanned across platforms. It’s clear that Frank Gifford’s legacy continues to inspire and will live on in the hearts of many.