While late NFL legend Frank Gifford may have impressed many with his accumulated wealth and fame in his public life, he privately clung to his Christian faith that helped him rise from a life of poverty where he only had dog food to eat at times as a boy.
“When he was a young boy born into a very different world than the world we live in today, the depression,” said Frank’s wife TODAY show host Kathie Lee Gifford of her husband who died of natural causes on August 9.
“He was born in 1930 in a poverty-stricken home where his father was an oil worker. They knew poverty the way…He ate dog food sometimes as a child, the family did, and was grateful to have it,” noted Kathie Lee.
“He lived 29 different places before he was at Bakersfield High school because his father couldn’t get work during the depression and we know that from his mother’s Bible. Where she would say something like June 6, 1938, arrived in…Texas, dad can’t find work. Moving on tomorrow,” she continued.
“And that shaped the man Frank became very, very much. He knew what it was like to be hungry. He knew what it was like to have no clothes on his back…He knew what it was like to have literally no clothes on his back. Even when he went to USC to play football there, he had one pair of jeans and a white shirt,” she explained.
“People who think that he was born with this silver spoon in his mouth? He goes, ‘We didn’t have spoons.’ But it made him so grateful. Honestly he’s the most grateful human being I’ve ever, ever known, and that colored everything he did,” added Kathie Lee.
She said Frank gave his heart to Jesus as a young boy and he credits his success with the faith tradition he inherited from his mother.
“He would want you all to know that when he was a little boy we know where he lived and all that because of his mother’s Bible. They had nothing but they had their faith and every time they moved to a new town, his mother and father would put him and his siblings, they would go to church every week as a family and that kept them together as a family through the darkest, darkest times and as a young child Frank asked Jesus into his heart and that remained with him for the rest of his life. He strayed from his faith on occasion but his faith never left him,” she said.
WATCH KATHIE LEE GIFFORD TALK ABOUT HER LATE HUSBAND’S FAITH BELOW: