CANTON, OH - AUGUST 6: NFL Films creator Ed Sabol and Ed's son Steve Sabol unveil Sabol's bust at the Enshrinement Ceremony for the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 6, 2011 in Canton, Ohio.
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
NFL Films' president Steve Sabol, after an 18-month battle with brain cancer, died Tuesday. He was 69.
"Steve Sabol was the creative genius behind the remarkable work of NFL Films," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Steve's passion for football was matched by his incredible talent and energy. ... He was a major contributor to the success of the NFL, a man who changed the way we look at football and sports, and a great friend."
NFL Films began in 1962, when Sabol's father, Ed, won film rights to the league's championship game -- which Steve worked as a cameraman.
Sabol is survived by his wife, Penny, his son Casey, his parents Audrey and Ed (who is 96) and his sister Blair.
Under Steve Sabol, NFL Films pioneered video techniques such as super slow-motion, wireless microphones on players and dramatic music added to replay highlights.
His father was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year.
"My dad has a great expression," Sabol said when his father's induction was announced. " 'Tell me a fact, and I'll learn. Tell me a truth and I'll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.' And now my Dad's story will be in Canton and hopefully that will live forever, too."
Father and son received the Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2003 and, according to the NFL, Steve Sabol won more than 40 Emmys awards and oversaw 107 Emmys for NFL Films.
The family requested any donations be sent to the Jefferson Foundation for Brain Tumor Research, c/o Lindsey Walker, 925 Chestnut Street, Suite 110, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107.