The health of Paterno, who had fought the disease for two months, had grown progressively worse after he recently broke his pelvis in a fall at his home in State College, Pa.
"It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today," said a statement from Paterno's family, released Sunday, shortly after 10 a.m. ET. "His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled.
"He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been.
"His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community."
Paterno died at State College's Mount Nittany Medical Center, where he had been undergoing treatment.
Paterno remained connected to a ventilator into Sunday, individuals close to Paterno's family told The Washington Post.