Joe Paterno, who won more games than any other major college football coach, and who became the face of Pennsylvania State University and a symbol of integrity in collegiate athletics – only to be fired during the 2011 season amid a child sexual-abuse scandal that reverberated throughout the nation – died yesterday. He was 85.

His family announced his death in a statement yesterday morning. The cause was lung cancer, the hospital, Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, Pa., said in a statement.

“He died as he lived,’’ the family statement said. “He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far-reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players, and his community.’’

During his 46 years as head coach, as he paced the sidelines in his thick tinted glasses, indifferent to fashion in his white athletic socks and rolled-up baggy khaki pants, Paterno seemed as much a part of the Penn State landscape as Mount Nittany, overlooking the Central Pennsylvania campus known as Happy Valley.

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