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Phyllis George, former Miss America and sports broadcast pioneer, dies at 70

George's career in front of the camera began in 1974 as the co-host of "Candid Camera" on CBS.
/ Source: Reuters

Phyllis George, one of the first leading female sports broadcasters, died on Friday due to complications from a blood disorder. She was 70.

George's career in front of the camera began in 1974 as the co-host of "Candid Camera" on CBS. That same year, she then joined the "NFL Today" team alongside veteran sports braodcasters Brent Musburger, Irv Cross and Jimmy the Greek. With the team, she hosted pre-game discussions and analysis before National Football League games.

Phyllis George during The Museum of Television and Radio Kicks Off "She Made It: Women Creating Television and Radio" at The Museum of Television and Radio in New York City, New York, United States.Dimitrios Kambouris / WireImage

She was one of the first women to be a major player in the sports TV world. She also helped cover horse races, like the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

In 1978, George became the host of People magazine's self-titled entertainment show. She then went on to co-anchor the CBS Morning news and interviewed many noteworthy guests, including former First Lady Nancy Reagan.

George won the Miss America beauty pageant in 1971, and before that she was crowned Miss Texas. After marrying businessman John Y. Brown, who owned Kentucky Friend Chicken and became Kentucky's governor, she was briefly First Lady of Kentucky. During that stint, she founded The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Several retail stores began carrying crafts from the state thanks to her championing them.