Joe Paterno
American college football coach
Joe Paterno
Joseph Vincent "Joe" Paterno, sometimes referred to as "JoePa," was an American college football coach who was the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1966 to 2011. His career ended with his dismissal from the team for his role in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. Paterno was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended Brown University, where he played football both as the quarterback and a cornerback.
Biography
Joe Paterno's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Joe Paterno from around the web
'Proudest college moment' for DeAndre Levy: Joe Paterno's broken leg - ESPN
Google News - 3 months
ESPN 'Proudest college moment' for DeAndre Levy: Joe Paterno's broken leg ESPN DeAndre Levy was involved in a play that broke former Penn State coach Joe Paterno's leg during a 2006 game when Wisconsin played the Nittany Lions. Now, the Detroit Lions linebacker said it was his "proudest moment in college" in a recent story in Men ... DeAndre Levy proud he broke “dirtbag” Joe Paterno's legNBCSports.com Thursday's P.M. Hot Clicks: Magda Zalejska; DeAndre Levy pulls no punchesSports Illustrated DeAndre Levy says his 'proudest college moment' is breaking Joe Paterno's legYahoo Sports USA TODAY -Detroit Free Press -CBSSports.com -NJ.com all 65 news articles »
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Boy seen in shower with Penn State's Sandusky to testify in retrial bid
Yahoo News - 4 months
By David DeKok HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - A man who says he was the unidentified boy seen in 2001 in a shower with convicted sexual predator Jerry Sandusky is expected to tell a hearing on Friday that the former Penn State assistant football coach was a father figure who never molested him. The man, identified in court papers as "A.M.", or "Victim #2," will take the stand for the first time in the case, which led to Sandusky's 2012 conviction for molesting 10 boys. The ex-coach is now seeking a retrial, reviving a scandal that roiled Pennsylvania State University and the vaunted football program run by the legendary head coach Joe Paterno.
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Yahoo News article
Penn State stuns No. 2 Ohio State; top 25 CFB roundup
CBS News - 4 months
Late blocked field goal leads to biggest win of the Nittany Lions' post-Joe Paterno era; Leonard Fournette sets record in big LSU win over Ole Miss
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CBS News article
Penn State fans cheer, protesters turn backs during Paterno tribute
ABC News - 5 months
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State fans gave a standing ovation after the first of the university's three videos honoring the late Joe Paterno, while some Temple fans in the upper deck turned their backs in protest. One red-lettered sign, behind the Owls fans, said, "He turned his back. We'll turn ours." To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Paterno's first game as head coach -- a 15-7 win over Maryland on Sept. 17, 1966 -- Penn State decided to honor the longtime coach with several videos "on the impact to student-athletes" and by having two co-captains from his first team participate in the coin toss before Saturday's 34-27 win. The first video aired during a break early in the second quarter. Beaver Stadium announcer Dean DeVore directed an announced 100,420 fans' attention to two high-definition video boards for a two-minute video featuring highlights of Paterno's career. As soon as Paterno's familiar image --... ...
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Tribute to Paterno sparks protest
Yahoo News - 5 months
Tributes to the late, disgraced coach Joe Paterno, sacked in 2011 amid the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal that rocked Penn State University, sparked protests on Saturday. The university paid tribute to Paterno at an American football game attended by more than 100,000 in State College, Pennsylvania, where the Nittany Lions defeated visiting Temple 34-27 on the 50th anniversary of Paterno's first game as Penn State's head coach. Video tributes to Paterno, who died in 2012 at age 85, received a standing ovation from Penn State fans.
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Yahoo News article
Joe Paterno tribute ignites positive and negative passions
LATimes - 5 months
Penn State marked the 50th anniversary of the late Joe Paterno’s first game as head football coach Saturday, introducing former players and displaying video tributes at the Nittany Lions’ game against Temple. When images of the coach were shown on the stadium scoreboard during one video, the crowd...
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LATimes article
Joe Paterno tribute ignites positive and negative passions
LATimes - 5 months
Penn State marked the 50th anniversary of the late Joe Paterno’s first game as head football coach Saturday, introducing former players and displaying video tributes at the Nittany Lions’ game against Temple. When images of the coach were shown on the stadium scoreboard during one video, the crowd...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Joe Paterno tribute ignites positive and negative passions
LATimes - 5 months
Penn State marked the 50th anniversary of the late Joe Paterno’s first game as head football coach Saturday, introducing former players and displaying video tributes at the Nittany Lions’ game against Temple. When images of the coach were shown on the stadium scoreboard during one video, the crowd...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Joe Paterno
    FORTIES
  • 2012
    On July 14, 2012 The New York Times reported that in January 2011, Paterno opened "surprise" negotiations to prematurely end his contract with an additional $3 million early retirement payout, prior to public knowledge of the scandal.
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    On July 23, 2012, the NCAA vacated all of Penn State's wins from 1998 through 2011 as part of its punishment for the child sex abuse scandal, eliminating 111 of the games Paterno had coached and won, dropping him from first to 12th on the list of winningest NCAA football coaches.
    More Details Hide Details State senator Jake Corman and state treasurer Rob McCord launched a lawsuit against the NCAA in January 2013 to overturn the sanctions on Penn State, on the basis that Freeh had been actively collaborating with the NCAA and that due process had not been followed, and as part of the settlement the NCAA reversed its decision on January 16, 2015 and restored the 111 wins to Paterno's record.
    An investigation conducted by former FBI director Louis Freeh concluded in July 2012 that Paterno concealed facts relating to Sandusky's sexual abuse of young boys.
    More Details Hide Details The investigation also uncovered information that Paterno may have persuaded university officials not to report Sandusky to authorities in 2001. A report composed by the law firm King & Spalding and commissioned by the Paterno family has disputed his involvement in the alleged coverup and accused Freeh of making unsupported conclusions.
    However, on July 23, 2012, NCAA rulings officially vacated 111 of Paterno's wins based on the findings of the Freeh report regarding his involvement in the Penn State sex abuse scandal.
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    Paterno's funeral was held in State College on January 25, 2012.
    More Details Hide Details About 750 mourners attended the private ceremony, after which thousands of mourners lined the route of the funeral procession. Paterno was buried in Spring Creek Presbyterian Cemetery just outside the town. Approximately 12,000 people attended a public memorial service that was held at the Bryce Jordan Center on January 26, 2012. At the time of his death, Paterno had accumulated a record of 409 wins, 136 losses, and 3 ties.
    On January 13, 2012, Paterno was hospitalized in State College for complications relating to his cancer treatment, and he remained there until his death nine days later on January 22, 2012.
    More Details Hide Details His death resulted in tributes from prominent leaders in the U.S., including former President George H. W. Bush, who called Paterno "an outstanding American who was respected not only on the field of play but in life generally—and he was, without a doubt, a true icon in the world of sports." Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said of Paterno, "His legacy as the winningest coach in major college football and his generosity to Penn State as an institution and to his players, stand as monuments to his life... His place in our state's history is secure." On January 23, Corbett ordered all state flags to be lowered to half mast in Paterno's honor. At the time of his death, Penn State was still finalizing Paterno's retirement package.
    All of their children are Penn State graduates, and Jay Paterno was the quarterbacks coach at Penn State until his departure following the hiring of new head coach Bill O'Brien on January 7, 2012.
    More Details Hide Details The Paternos had 17 grandchildren. Paterno was a longtime summer resident of Avalon, New Jersey. Paterno and his wife co-authored the children's book We Are Penn State!, which takes place during a typical Penn State homecoming weekend. In November 2006, Paterno was involved in a sideline collision during a game against Wisconsin. He was unable to avoid the play and was struck in the knee by Badgers linebacker DeAndre Levy's helmet. Paterno, then 79 years old, suffered a fractured shin bone and damage to knee ligaments. He coached the 2007 Outback Bowl from the press box before making a full recovery. In November 2008, Paterno had successful hip replacement surgery after spraining his leg while trying to demonstrate onside kicks during a practice session. While recovering, he coached the remainder of the season and the 2009 Rose Bowl from the press box. After sustaining these injuries, he made use of a motorized golf cart to move around the field during practices.
  • 2011
    Sandusky continued to have access to the university's athletic facilities until his arrest in November 2011.
    More Details Hide Details Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said that Paterno was cooperative with prosecutors and that he met his statutory responsibility to report the 2001 incident to school administrators. Under Pennsylvania state law of the time, any state employee who learned about suspected child abuse was required to report the incident to his immediate supervisor. In the case of the 2001 incident, McQueary reported the incident to his immediate supervisor, Paterno. In turn, Paterno reported the incident to his immediate supervisor, Athletic Director Tim Curley, who then reported it to Gary Schultz, former Senior Vice President for Finance, a position which included financial oversight of the campus police department. For these reasons, Paterno did not initially come under criminal suspicion. Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan, however, criticized Paterno for not doing enough to stop Sandusky's crimes. Noonan opined that while Paterno may have done what he was legally required to do, anyone with knowledge of possible sexual abuse against minors had a "moral responsibility" to notify police.
    A 2011 grand jury investigation reported that then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary told Paterno in 2002 (prosecutors later amended the date to 2001) that he had seen Sandusky abusing a 10-year-old boy in Penn State football's shower facilities.
    More Details Hide Details According to the report, Paterno notified Athletic Director Tim Curley about the incident, and later notified Gary Schultz, Vice President of Finance and Business, who also oversaw the University Police. Paterno said McQueary informed him that "he had witnessed an incident in the shower... but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the Grand Jury report." In his Grand Jury testimony, Paterno stated that McQueary had described Sandusky "fondling" a young boy in an act he described of a "sexual nature," but stopped short of the graphic rape to which McQueary would later testify. Despite the nature of the 2001 incident that McQueary told Paterno he witnessed in the showers, Paterno did not notify state police. While the prosecutors did not accuse Paterno of any wrongdoing, he was criticized for his failure to follow up on McQueary's report. The victim in the 2001 incident was identified in July 2012.
    After the child sex abuse scandal involving his former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky broke in full in November 2011, Paterno announced that he would retire at the end of the season.
    More Details Hide Details However, on November 9, the Penn State Board of Trustees rejected this offer and fired him, effective immediately.
    In November 2011, Scott Paterno reported that his father had a treatable form of lung cancer.
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    No surgery was required, but Paterno began the 2011 regular season schedule in a wheelchair.
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    Paterno was injured again in August 2011, after colliding with a player during practice.
    More Details Hide Details He sustained hairline fractures to his hip and shoulder.
    The New American Foundation ranked Penn State No. 1 in its 2011 Academic Bowl Championship Series.
    More Details Hide Details Paterno was also renowned for his charitable contributions to academics at Penn State. He and his wife Sue have contributed over $4 million towards various departments and colleges, including support for the Penn State All-Sports Museum, which opened in 2002, and the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, which opened in 2003. After helping raise over $13.5 million in funds for the 1997 expansion of Pattee Library, the university named the expansion Paterno Library in their honor. In 2007, former player Franco Harris and his company R Super Foods honored Paterno for his contributions to Penn State by featuring his story and picture on boxes of Super Donuts and Super Buns in Central PA. A portion of the sales will be donated to an endowment fund for the university library that bears his name. Paterno also attended the annual Penn State Dance Marathon, a popular weekend-long charity event and the largest student-run philanthropy in the world (it raised over $10 million in 2012), every year to raise money for kids with cancer.
    Ultimately, the board rejected Paterno's offer to resign at the end of the 2011 season, but faced with hate mail and a threat of a defamation lawsuit by Paterno's family, it agreed to give Paterno and his family the $5.5 million package, which included additional perks for the family, including the use of the athletic department's hydrotherapy facilities by his widow.
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    By August 2011, Paterno and his attorneys had reached a deal with the PSU Board for a total package worth $5.5 million including: a $3 million cash payout, forgiveness of a $350,000 interest-free loan issued by the university, the use of a private box at Beaver Stadium and a private jet for 25 years, if he agreed the 2011 season would be his last.
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    Although his contract was not up for negotiation until the end of 2011, Paterno initiated negotiations with his superiors to amend his contract in January 2011, the same month he was notified of the police investigation.
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    His career ended with his dismissal from the team in November, 2011 as a result of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.
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  • 2010
    Also in 2010, the Big Ten Conference established the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy as the annual trophy to be awarded to the winner of the conference football championship. However, on November 14, 2011, the trophy name was changed to the Stagg Championship Trophy in light of the Sandusky child abuse scandal.
    More Details Hide Details Paterno was also nominated for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. However, in light of the Sandusky child abuse scandal, United States Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, Jr., as well as Representative Glenn Thompson withdrew their support of Paterno receiving the honor. On November 5, 2011, former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested on 40 counts of child sexual abuse occurring between 1994 and 2009, including allegations of incidents on the Penn State campus.
    In 2010, the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia established the Joseph V. Paterno Award, to be awarded annually to the college football coach "who has made a positive impact on his university, his players and his community."
    More Details Hide Details Following the breaking of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal the following year, the award was discontinued by the club.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2009
    In 2009, Paterno was named to Sporting News list of the 50 greatest coaches of all time (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, college basketball, and college football).
    More Details Hide Details He is listed in position 13.
  • 2007
    Paterno was inducted on December 4, 2007, and officially enshrined in a ceremony held July 19, 2008.
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    As a result of his injuries, he was unable to travel to the induction ceremonies in New York City and the National Football Foundation announced that he would instead be inducted as a part of the Hall of Fame class of 2007.
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  • 2006
    However, on November 4, 2006 he was injured during a sideline collision during a game against Wisconsin.
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    On May 16, 2006, Paterno was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame after the National Football Foundation decided to change its rules and allow any coach over the age of 75 to be eligible for the Hall of Fame instead of having to wait until retirement.
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    He was paid $490,638 in 2006. "I'm paid well, I'm not overpaid," Paterno said during an interview with reporters Wednesday before the salary disclosure. "I got all the money I need".
    More Details Hide Details Joe Paterno holds an official NCAA total of 18 bowl victories. He holds the NCAA record for total bowl appearances with 37. Before the NCAA sanctions, he had a bowl record of 24 wins, 12 losses, and 1 tie following a defeat in the 2011 Outback Bowl. Paterno was the first coach with the distinction of having won each of the four major bowls—Rose, Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar—as well as the Cotton Bowl Classic, at least once. Including the 2012 NCAA sanctions, Penn State won at least 3 bowl games in each of the 3 decades between 1970 and 1997. Paterno led Penn State to two national championships (1982 and 1986) and five undefeated, untied seasons (1968, 1969, 1973, 1986, and 1994). Four of his unbeaten teams (1968, 1969, 1973, and 1994) won major bowl games and were not awarded a national championship.
    Paterno was accused of "making light of sexual assault" in 2006 by the National Organization for Women which called for his resignation, though Penn State later categorized this incident as being "taken out of context" and never seriously considered asking for Paterno's resignation.
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  • 2005
    Paterno announced in a speech in Pittsburgh on May 12, 2005, that he would consider retirement if the 2005 football team had a disappointing season. "If we don't win some games, I've got to get my rear end out of here", Paterno said in a speech at the Duquesne Club. "Simple as that". However, Penn State finished the season with a record of 11–1 and were champions of the Big Ten in 2005.
    More Details Hide Details They defeated Florida State 26–23 in triple overtime in the 2006 Orange Bowl. In 2008, due to a litany of football players' off-the-field legal problems, including 46 Penn State football players having faced 163 criminal charges according to an ESPN analysis of Pennsylvania court records and reports dating to 2002, ESPN questioned Joe Paterno's and the university's control over the Penn State football program by producing and airing an ESPN's Outside the Lines feature covering the subject. Paterno was criticized for his response dismissing the allegations as a "witch hunt", and chiding reporters for asking about problems. The Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) revealed Paterno's salary in November 2007: $512,664.
  • 2004
    Paterno was also a close friend of President Gerald R. Ford, and introduced President George W. Bush at a campaign rally before the 2004 presidential election.
    More Details Hide Details Before the 1974 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, a group of Pennsylvania Republican Party leaders briefly considered Paterno for Andrew Lewis' ticket as the candidate for lieutenant governor. In 2004, his son Scott Paterno, an attorney, won the Republican primary for Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district but lost in the November general election to Democratic incumbent Tim Holden. "I brought my kids up to think for themselves since day one," Joe Paterno said in 2008. "I got a son who's a Republican, who ran for Congress, Scott. I'm a Republican. I've got a son, Jay, who's for Obama. I've got a daughter, who I'm pretty sure she's going to be for Hillary Clinton. So God bless America."
  • 2000
    As Penn State football struggled from 2000 to 2004, with an overall 26–33 record in those years, Paterno became the target of criticism from some Penn State faithful.
    More Details Hide Details Many in the media attributed Penn State's struggles to Paterno's advancing age. He had no apparent plans to retire, and contingents of fans and alumni began calling for him to step down. Paterno rebuffed all of this and stated he would fulfill his contract which would expire in 2008.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1998
    All wins dating back to 1998 were vacated, the year Paterno was first informed of Sandusky's suspected child abuse.
    More Details Hide Details Based on the criteria used by the NCAA, Paterno no longer held the record for most victories by an NCAA Division I football coach. Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden held the NCAA major college record for wins at 377, while for NCAA Division I schools, Grambling State University coach Eddie Robinson's 408 victories stood as the official record. The 111 wins were returned to Paterno on January 16, 2015 as a part of a settlement between the NCAA and Penn State, once again making him the most victorious coach of all time in FBS NCAA football history.
    Penn State was fined $60 million, stripped of 40 total scholarships from 2013 to 2017, banned from postseason play until 2016 and vacated all 112 of its wins dating back to 1998.
    More Details Hide Details This included the removal of Paterno's last 111 wins at Penn State, dropping him from first to 12th on the all-time wins list. (In early 2015 the wins were restored.) The NCAA reported that "Penn State's leadership failed to value and uphold institutional integrity, breaching both the NCAA Constitution and Division I rules", and that the NCAA "intended to remediate the 'sports is king' culture that led to failures in leadership." The report harshly criticized Paterno for his role in the cover-up of Sandusky's crimes, saying that Paterno, Spanier, Schultz and Curley had demonstrated "a failure of institutional and individual integrity." Although this action was outside the normal process for investigating major violations, the NCAA said this action was merited because the cover-up violated basic principles of intercollegiate athletics that were over and above specific policies. In a sweeping consent decree, Penn State was required to adopt all recommended reforms in the Freeh report and enter into an "athletics integrity agreement" with the NCAA and Big Ten. The official NCAA statement said that this action "addresses the integration of the athletics department into the greater university community." Erickson agreed to accept the findings of the Freeh Report for the purpose of signing the consent decree, in the process waiving any right to appeal the sanctions imposed. Later, he said that he had no choice but to accept the sanctions, saying that had he not done so, Penn State would have faced penalties that were several times more severe, including cancellation of the next four football seasons (the so-called "death penalty") and an even larger fine.
  • 1995
    In 1995, Paterno apologized for a tirade directed at Rutgers then-head coach Doug Graber at the end of a nationally televised game.
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  • 1993
    After Penn State joined the Big Ten Conference in 1993, the Nittany Lions under Paterno won the Big Ten championship three times (1994, 2005 and 2008), with the last two of those still awaiting official restoration to the record.
    More Details Hide Details Paterno had 29 finishes in the Top 10 national rankings.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1988
    Paterno was a political conservative and a personal friend of President George H. W. Bush, endorsing him as a candidate in a speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention.
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  • 1982
    The team won two national championships—in 1982 and 1986.
    More Details Hide Details Paterno coached five undefeated teams that won major bowl games and, in 2007, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach. In all, he led the Nittany Lions to 37 bowl appearances with 24 wins while turning down offers to coach National Football League (NFL) teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots.
  • OTHER
  • 1966
    Paterno was known for his gameday image—thick glasses, rolled-up dress slacks (by his admission, to save on cleaning bills), white socks and Brooklyn-tinged speech. Reflecting the growth in Penn State's stature during his tenure, Beaver Stadium was expanded six times during his tenure, increasing in size from 46,284 in 1966 to 106,572 in 2001.
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  • 1964
    Paterno was promoted to associate coach, the top assistant, in June 1964, and when Engle announced his retirement in February 1966, Paterno was named his successor the next day.
    More Details Hide Details Paterno's abbreviated 2011 season was his 62nd on the Penn State coaching staff, which gave him the record for most seasons for any football coach at a single university. The 2009 season was Paterno's 44th as head coach of the Nittany Lions, passing Amos Alonzo Stagg for the most years as head coach at a single institution in Division I.
  • 1962
    While serving as an assistant coach, Paterno met freshman coed Suzanne Pohland, an English literature honors student, at the campus library. Paterno and Pohland, a Latrobe native 13 years his junior, married in 1962, the year she graduated.
    More Details Hide Details They had five children: Diana, Joseph Jr. "Jay", Mary Kay, David, and Scott.
  • 1950
    Although his father asked, "For God's sake, what did you go to college for?" after hearing of his career choice, Paterno joined Rip Engle as an assistant coach at Penn State in 1950; Engle had coached five seasons, 1944–1949, at Brown.
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    Paterno graduated as an English literature major in 1950 and had been accepted into Boston University School of Law, which he had planned to attend before deciding to coach at Penn State.
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  • 1946
    Paterno spent a year in the Army before being discharged in time to start the 1946 school year at Brown University where his tuition was paid by Busy Arnold.
    More Details Hide Details In college Paterno was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Upsilon chapter). He played quarterback and cornerback for the Brown Bears, and shares the career record for interceptions with Greg Parker at 14.
  • 1944
    In 1944, Paterno graduated from the old Brooklyn Preparatory School.
    More Details Hide Details Six weeks later he was drafted into the Army.
  • 1926
    Paterno was born December 21, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York, and throughout his life he spoke with a marked Brooklyn accent.
    More Details Hide Details He was the son of Florence de LaSalle Cafiero, a homemaker, and Angelo Lafayette Paterno, a law clerk. His family was of Italian ancestry.
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