Gene Willie Strahan Sr., the father of Good Morning America anchor and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan, died on Monday at 83. Michael missed Friday morning's Good Morning America episode to attend his father's funeral, and the show aired a tribute. The former New York Giants star has not discussed his father's death on social media yet.
Strahan served in the U.S. Army and the 82nd Airborne Division, enlisting after he graduated high school in 1955, according to his obituary. After his service, he enrolled at Prairie View A&M University, where he earned a degree in Industrial Arts. He later earned a Master of Education in the field. He was married to Louise Taylor in 1957, and they had six children. In addition to his wife of 63 years and five children, Sandra, Gene Jr., Christopher, Michael, and Victor.
This morning, we’re celebrating the life of Michael Strahan’s father Gene Willie Strahan who will be laid to rest today. Our thoughts are with his family during this time. pic.twitter.com/flpLvx5gjT— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 4, 2020
"Our thoughts and our prayers are with our colleague, Michael Strahan, and his family. His father, Gene Willis Strahan Sr., is being laid to rest today," GMA anchor Amy Robach said Friday. "We want you to know our hearts are with you today. We love you, Michael." Viewers also shared their condolences on Twitter. "So sorry for your loss Rip thank you for your service God bless you and your family," one fan wrote. Another added, "My sincere sympathy to and yours. It’s tough but I’m sure you have great memories to comfort you."
Strahan last shared a photo with his father in June to celebrate Father's Day. "Happy #FathersDay to my dad and all the fathers out there. Hopefully, you are relaxing and enjoying the honor of being a dad (the greatest gift in life)," he wrote. "Think about the impact you have on your children and make sure you are doing everything you can to show them right from wrong because they are watching!"
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In 2016, Strahan spoke with PEOPLE about the impact his parents had on his life. They both thought he had the talent to become an athlete and a TV star, even though he did not see it himself. "I never knew I could accomplish so much," he said at the time. "But my parents never act surprised. They look at me as if there’s no limit. That helped me feel like there’s no limit."