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Former Kentucky first lady, Phyllis George, dies at 70

Story first reported by the Courier Journal
Posted at 6:02 PM, May 16, 2020

(LEX 18) — Former Kentucky first lady and Miss America, Phyllis George, has passed away at the age of 70 with an illness.

George was also the ex-wife of former Governor John Y. Brown.

The Courier Journal also said that George was admitted into the UK Hospital on Thursday, where she passed away due to a blood disorder.

George also made a career in television, breaking out as one of the first women to cover the NFL on "The NFL Today." She later became a co-anchor of CBS Morning News in 1985.

Her children, Lincoln Tyler George Brown and CNN White House correspondent Pamela Ashley Brown, released a joint statement, saying:

“For many, Mom was known by her incredible accomplishments as the pioneering female sportscaster, 50th Miss America and first lady. But this was all before we were born and never how we viewed Mom. To us, she was the most incredible mother we could ever ask for, and it is all of the defining qualities the public never saw, especially against the winds of adversity, that symbolize how extraordinary she is more than anything else. The beauty so many recognized on the outside was a mere fraction of her internal beauty, only to be outdone by an unwavering spirit that allowed her to persevere against all the odds.”

“Phyllis George was special. Her smile lit up millions of homes for the NFL Today," former "NFL Today" co-host Brent Musburger tweeted. “Phyllis didn't receive nearly enough credit for opening the sports broadcasting door for the dozens of talented women who took her lead and soared.”

Her ex-husband, former Governor Brown, told the Courier-Journal, "Phyllis was a great asset to Kentucky. We had a great partnership. I think we enjoyed every single day.”

Governor Andy Beshear released a statement last night, reading:

"I was blessed to know Phyllis and her family. Her connection with Kentucky runs deep. As First Lady of the Commonwealth, she was beloved for her vision and oversight in renovating and renewing the state treasure that is the Governor's Mansion and her efforts to promote folk art in America. Our thoughts and prayers are especially with her children, Lincoln and Pamela."