The family of legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has confirmed he died Sunday morning.  The career of the most successful coach in college football history ended in controversey in November when he was fired when the university's board of trustees felt he failed to respond forcefully enough after one of his assistant coaches allegedly was seen sexually abusing a young boy. 

Known as "Joepa" by many of his players and fans, Paterno was hospitalized in December after breaking his pelvis in a fall in his home, then hospitalized again this month for complications from his treatment of lung cancer.

During his 46 seasons as Penn State football coach Paterno won two national championships, had five undefeated seasons and the Nittany Lions finished in the top-25 national rankings 35 times.  Under his guidance the program was never sanctioned by the NCAA for any infractions.

Paterno was named Coach of the Year five times and named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Paterno began his career with the Nittany Lions as an assistant coach from 1950 to 1965.  He became head football coach in 1966. 

SOURCE: MetroSource