Steve Sabol, president of NFL Films, dies
By Gregg Rosenthal
Around The League editor
Published: Sept. 18, 2012 at 01:19 p.m.
Updated: Sept. 18, 2012 at 04:59 p.m.
The football world says goodbye to a legend of the sport on Tuesday. Steve Sabol, president of NFL Films, has died at the age of 69 after an 18-month battle with brain cancer.
Sabol took over the mantle as president of NFL Films in 1985 from his father Ed, who founded the company. Steve learned in March of 2011 that he had a brain tumor that could not be removed. He introduced his father during Ed's emotional enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August 2011. Sabol is survived by his wife, Penny, his son, Casey, his parents Audrey and Ed, and his sister Blair.
"Steve was the creative genius behind NFL Films' remarkable work," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday in an email to NFL personnel. "Steve's passion for football was matched only by his talent and energy. He was a major contributor to the success of the NFL, a man who changed the way we looked at football and sports, and a great friend. His legacy is assured.
"Steve was an incredible visionary. He spent 50 years at the NFL and changed the way we see pro football. So when you're watching the games this week, it's worth remembering just how much Steve contributed to the way we think, see, and love our game."
Generations of NFL fans learned to love the game of football through the lens of Ed and Steve Sabol. Steve started out as a cameraman for the company before eventually running it.
"We all realized pretty quickly that Steve was the force behind what we were doing here," NFL Films' head of cinematography Hank McElwee said this year. "The pictures. Big Ed had the idea and he sold the owners on it, but when it came to the actual vision of this company, without a doubt it was Steve. Steve saw things in a unique way that every network is copying right now."
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