Hockey Legend Gordie Howe Dies at 88

Legendary athlete Gordie Howe, known affectionately as “Mr. Hockey,” died Friday morning in Ohio. He was 88.

The Detroit Red Wings, who he played with for 25 years, confirmed the news on Twitter.

“Thoughts and prayers to the Howe family as Gordie Howe passes away at the age of 88,” they tweeted.

“The Hockey Hall of Fame is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Gordie Howe. Mr. Hockey was a true legend,” the Hockey Hall of Fame tweeted.

The official NHL account re-tweeted both messages.

Howe played a record 1,767 games, scoring 801 goals during an NHL career that spanned four decades. He won four Stanley Cup titles with the Red Wings and earned the NHL’s most valuable player award six times. He also played 419 games in the World Hockey Association.

The Hall of Famer held the NHL’s goal-scoring record (801 goals) during his time with Detroit between 1946 and 1971 until Wayne Gretzky overtook him (894 goals).

In addition to the “Mr. Hockey” moniker, his name is also part of the sport’s jargon: “A Gordie Howe hat trick” is a goal, an assist and a fighting penalty in a single game.

He returned to the sport in 1973, two years after retiring, to play alongside his sons Marty and Mark on the Houston Aeros as part of the WHA. They then joined the New England Whalers, one of four WHA teams later absorbed by the NHL.

Howe retired for a second (and final) time at the age of 51 after playing for the Hartford Whalers in the 1979-80 season.

He suffered from several health problems over the last few years, including dementia, spinal surgery and strokes, after which he underwent stem cell treatment.

Howe is survived by his sons, Marty, Mark and Murray; his daughter, Cathy Purnell; nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and sister, Helen Cummine.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Weinstein Can Get a Fair Trial in Manhattan, Says D.A.

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s office argued on Friday that Harvey Weinstein can get a fair trial in Manhattan, and blamed the producer’s defense team for much of the pre-trial publicity in the case. Weinstein’s attorneys have asked an appellate court to transfer the case — which is set to begin on Sept. 9 — to [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Madonna

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna Call for Action on Amazon Wildfires

    As wildfires rage at an alarming rate in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, celebrities are using their platforms to bring awareness to the deforestation’s impact and to call for action. In the past week, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cara Delevingne and Ariana Grande have taken to Instagram to express their frustration with the lack of [...]

  • 'The Durrells' TV Show

    Greece Sweetens Production Incentives as Struggling Country's Economy Rebounds

    It’s taken the better part of a decade for Greece to show signs of recovery from the crippling crisis that almost pushed it out of the Eurozone. Now, with the economy slowly on the mend, the government is doubling down on efforts to jump-start the local film industry, giving a dramatic overhaul to the incentive [...]

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

  • Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on

    Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on ‘Brilliant’ Album and Campaign

    Two days after Taylor Swift fired off the latest salvo in her battle with Scooter Braun, the manager congratulated the singer on the campaign around her “brilliant” new album, “Lover,” which arrived last night. The message came after Swift said she will be re-recording songs from her first six albums, which are now owned by [...]

  • David Koch Obit

    David Koch, Libertarian Activist and Billionaire Philanthropist, Dies at 79

    David Koch, brother of Charles Koch and one of the owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., has died at 79. According to the New York Times, Charles Koch announced the news of his brother’s death in a statement. Though he did not attribute to David’s death to a particular cause, [...]

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content