Steve Sabol, the President of NFL Films, died on Tuesday after an 18-month battle with brain cancer.
He was 69 years old.
"Steve was the creative genius behind NFL Films' remarkable work," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in an e-mail obtained by NFL.com. "Steve's passion for football was matched only by his talent and energy. He was a major contributor to the success of the NFL, a man who changed the way we looked at football and sports, and a great friend. His legacy is assured.
"Steve was an incredible visionary. He spent 50 years at the NFL and changed the way we see pro football. So when you're watching the games this week, it's worth remembering just how much Steve contributed to the way we think, see, and love our game."
Sabol became president of NFL Films in 1985 when he took over for his father, Ed, who had originally founded the company. During his tenure, Sabol won over 40 Emmys and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
His impact, as noted by NFL.com:
The company broke ground as the first to wire players and coaches for sound. It revolutionized how music was used with sports films. It was the first to use ground-level slow motion and montage editing in sports. So much of what we see in sports television came directly from the Sabols. He straddled the line between artist and executive.
Sabol is survived by his wife, Penny, his son Casey, his parents Audrey and Ed, and his sister Blair.