Joseph Montana Sr. (1932 - 2017)

Joseph Montana Sr., the father of the NFL Hall of Famer and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, died Tuesday, May 23, 2017, according to multiple news sources including The Sacramento Bee newspaper. He was 85.

It was the elder Montana who introduced Joe Jr. to the game of football. The son would go on to win four Super Bowl championships and earn the distinction of MVP in three of them.

Joe Jr., aka the Comeback Kid, credited his parents with his success on the gridiron.

“They taught me to never quit and to strive to be my best,” the eight-time Pro Bowler said of his parents during his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000. His mother and father, he said, "were always there. They took me where I wanted to be, where I needed to be and got me there on time and made tremendous sacrifices to make sure I had things that they never had.”

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Joe Montana Sr., who was born in 1932, managed a finance company in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, where his only son grew up. By 1986, when Joe Sr. and his wife, Theresa, moved to California, Joe Jr. had already led his 49ers to two Super Bowl wins.

In a 1990 article in Sports Illustrated magazine, the elder Montana remembered his childhood, when he didn't have a parent to throw the football around in the backyard.

"Maybe that's why I got Joe started in sports,” he said. “Once he got started, he was always waiting at the door with a ball when I came home from work. What I really wanted to do was make it fun for him.”

Joe Sr. was preceded in death by his wife, who died of cancer in 2004.

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