Former NFL star Reggie White has died after suffering a massive heart attack Sunday morning at his home near Huntersville, N.C., ESPN's Chris Mortensen has learned.
The former Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles defensive end, a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame who retired as the NFL's all-time sacks leader in 2000, turned 43 on Dec. 19.
"Today our beloved husband, father and friend passed away," White's wife, Sara, said through a family pastor. "His family appreciates your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of Reggie White. We want to thank you in advance for honoring our privacy."
Nicknamed "The Minister of Defense," White had 198 career sacks with the Eagles (1985-92), Packers (1993-98) and Carolina Panthers (2000).
White went to two Super Bowls with Green Bay, winning a ring after the 1996 season.
Eric Allen wrapped up his Sunday chat on ESPN.com with a few words about his former teammate.
"You probably know we were teammates from 1988-1992," Allen said. "What you probably don't know is he was probably the biggest influence on me from the time I stepped foot into Philadelphia until now. More so off the field than on. We continued to stay in touch throughout my 17 years since being a rookie in Philadelphia, and I have a great amount of love for him and his family. So like he would do, please say a prayer for him and his family."