Fond words about Notre Dame alum Regis Philbin from University president

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(Photo courtesyTommie Lee)

Regis Philbin, the iconic television personality and University of Notre Dame alum, best-known for his hosting duties on “Live!” with co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa, and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,”died at the age of 88.

His family confirmed the news of his shocking passing in a statement to Fox News on Saturday.

“We are deeply saddened to share that our beloved Regis Philbin passed away last night of natural causes, one month shy of his 89th birthday,” his family said.

Philbin graduated from graduated graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1953 with a sociology degree and may be among the most well-known of all die-hard Fighting Irish football fans.

Notre Dame President The Rev. John Jenkins issued the following statement:

“Regis regaled millions on air through the years, oftentimes sharing a passionate love for his alma mater with viewers.  He will be remembered at Notre Dame for his unfailing support for the University and its mission, including the Philbin Studio Theater in our performing arts center. He likewise was generous with his time and talent in support of South Bend’s Center for the Homeless and other worthy causes. Our prayers are with his wife, Joy, and their daughters and Notre Dame alumnae Joanna and J.J.”

Philbin died of natural causes, according to People magazine.

He is survived by his wife, Joy, and their daughters J.J. and Joanna Philbin, as well as his daughter Amy Philbin with his first wife, Catherine Faylen.

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