'Minister of Defense' Reggie White dies at 43
Posted: Sunday December 26, 2004 11:40AM; Updated: Sunday December 26, 2004 12:38PM
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Reggie White, one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history, died Sunday, his wife said. He was 43.
"Today our beloved husband, father and friend passed away," White's wife, Sara, said in a statement through a family pastor. "His family appreciates your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of Reggie White. We want to thank you in advance for honoring our privacy."
ESPN reported White died of a heart attack.
A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, White played a total of 15 years with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina. He retired in 2000 as the NFL's all-time leader in sacks with 198. The mark has since been passed by Bruce Smith.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the greatest men ever to play the game of football," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. "On behalf of the entire Eagles family, our condolences go out to his wife, Sara, to his children, and to all those who have been touched by Reggie throughout his life. His legacy on and off the football field will never be forgotten."