Michael Strahan's Dad Gene Dies at 83: See His GMA Co-Host's Touching Tribute
Michael Strahan's Good Morning America family is paying tribute to his father, Gene.
"We wanted to take a moment to say our thoughts and our prayers are with our colleague Michael Strahan and his family. His father Gene Willie Strahan Sr. is being laid to rest today," said Robach, 47, before listing some of Gene's accomplishments. "He was born in 1937 ... the first of nine children to receive a high school diploma. Enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1955, Gene rose to become a major and serve with the 82nd Airborne Division."
"Gene married wife Louise in 1957 and they 'spent 63 wonderful years together bringing up six children,'" added Robach. "To Michael, Louise and the entire Strahan family, we want you to know our hearts are with you today. We love you, Michael," concluded the GMA co-anchor.
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Strahan has yet to publicly address the loss. PEOPLE has reached out to Strahan for additional comment.
Strahan, 48, is a father of four himself: daughter Tanita, 28, Michael Jr., 25, whom he shares with ex-wife Wanda Hutchins, and twins Sophie and Isabella, 15, whom he shares with ex-wife Jean Muggli. On Father's Day in June, Strahan honored his dad on Instagram.
"Happy #FathersDay to my dad and all the fathers out there. Hopefully you are relaxing and enjoying the honor of being a dad (the greatest gift in life)," he wrote at the time. "Think about the impact you have on your children and make sure you are doing everything you can to show them right from wrong because they are watching!❤"
Back in 2016, Strahan opened up to PEOPLE about how his mother and father helped him see his potential as both a celebrated athlete and television personality when he didn't realize he had it in him. He said Gene and Louise never had any doubts about his talents.
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“I never knew I could accomplish so much,” he recalled at the time. “But my parents never act surprised. They look at me as if there’s no limit. That helped me feel like there’s no limit.”
Strahan got his first big shot at 17, when his father — a major in the Army who was stationed in Mannheim, Germany — sent his son to live with his uncle in Houston and try for a college football scholarship. Strahan had only ever played in peewee football leagues and hadn’t played any high school sports at all.
“I didn’t know what I was doing,” Strahan said. “But because my dad never said ‘if’ or ‘possibly,’ — he said, ‘This is gonna happen’ – I said okay.”
Five months later, it did happen.
“I got one scholarship offer to Texas Southern University, and I took it because that was the mission I was sent on,” he said. After that, he landed on the New York Giants, won a Super Bowl and made it into the Hall of Fame.