When Michael Strahan lost his beloved father in September 2020 he was devastated. The GMA host was incredibly close to his dad and his passing amid the COVID-19 pandemic was beyond difficult for the star, his mother and his siblings.
Gene Strahan was 83 when he was laid to rest and survived by his longtime wife, Louise, who he had raised six children with.
MORE: Michael Strahan shares bittersweet family photo after upsetting week
Michael had previously spoken about how the support of his parents helped make him a star both as an NFL player and a TV presenter.
WATCH: Michael Strahan discusses battle with coronavirus
He opened up to People magazine and said his biggest cheerleaders were his mother and father.
"I never knew I could accomplish so much, but my parents never act surprised," he said while his dad was still alive. "They look at me as if there’s no limit. That helped me feel like there’s no limit."
MORE: Michael Strahan shares devastating news as fans send prayers
READ: Michael Strahan's family vacation with children ruined for surprise reason
Michael was only 17 years old when he got his first shot on the football field. His dad was a major in the army at the time and stationed in Germany.
Michael paid a heartfelt tribute to his father after he died
He sent his son to live with his uncle in Houston so that Michael could try out for a football scholarship, even though he had never played any high school sports.
"I didn’t know what I was doing," Michael said. "But because my dad never said ‘if’ or ‘possibly,' - he said, 'This is gonna happen'– I said okay." Less than six months later, he landed his scholarship!
MORE: Michael Strahan invites fans inside huge NY home – with unbelievable features
MORE: Michael Strahan pays tribute to his children during COVID-19 recovery – see rare photos
Michael's heartache at his father’s death was clear in the statement he released after his passing. It read: "The biggest goal in everything I’ve ever done was to make him proud.
Michael recently shared a piece of artwork of his parents
"Knowing that I did that gives me peace but also pushes me to continue because I know he’s watching from above."
"Without him I’m not sure where I’d be but I know I wouldn’t have anything close to the life I have now. Love you Dad and I’m honored to be your son!!"
He added some advice for fans: "Take time to hug your parents, spouse and kids. Let them know how you feel and don’t take it for granted that they automatically know that you love them."
Read more HELLO! US stories here
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.