In Her Own Words: Kathie Lee Gifford's Candid Thoughts on Her 'Amazing' Husband Frank

Frank Gifford: Kathie Lee Gifford's Own Words About Her 'Amazing' Husband
Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

08/11/2015 AT 01:50 PM EDT

NFL legend Frank Gifford died Sunday at the age of 84, leaving behind his wife of 29 years, Kathie Lee Gifford.

The Giffords' marriage – the second for the Today host and the third for the former New York Giants running back – was not without its ups and downs, but the pair endured scandals as a team and came out on the other side together.

For nearly three decades, Kathie Lee, 61, has been candid about how she made it last with her husband. Here's a look back at her most moving words about her marriage.

On Meeting Frank: "I ended a long-term relationship last spring, and Frank kind of took me under his wing. He's got a great wing. I don't know. We didn't fall in love. We really grew in love." –to Entertainment Tonight in 1986

On Their 23-Year Age Difference: "Somebody asked me if the age difference between us bothered me, and I said, 'Absolutely! I just hope I can keep up with him.' " –to Entertainment Tonight in 1986

On Priorities: "Anybody who knows us knows that nothing is more important than our children and our relationship with each other. It is a source of tremendous joy and security." –in an infomercial about the "Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships"

RELATED VIDEO: Kathie Lee Gifford Speaks of Heartbreak After NFL Legend Husband Frank Gifford Dies

On His Support: "[To Frank] who stood by me, loved me, encouraged me and defended me ... I love him very much." –in a 1997 acceptance speech for an honorary doctorate from Marymount University

On Supporting Him: "If I had run when Frank had his temporary insanity, which he was set up for, let's face it, then our children wouldn't have their father. A very dear friend told me when I was going through the hardest time about it, he said, 'If you can't forgive your husband, forgive your children's father.' Too many families break up over something that could be healed if they just stay there and trust God to do a healing in their life." –regarding Frank's alleged infidelity in 1997

On Responding to Critics: "People always say to me, 'Do you have a statement? I say, 'You know what? We are our statement.' " –responding to his alleged infidelity in 2000

On Saying Goodbye: "We rejoice in the extraordinary life he was privileged to live, and we feel grateful and blessed to have been loved by such an amazing human being." –in a statement on Sunday
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