Steve Sabol, president of NFL films, lost his battle with brain cancer on Tuesday at age 69.

From the New York Times:

In 1960, pro football was the nation’s fourth most popular spectator sport after baseball, college football and boxing. But over the next decade, it rocketed to first place in polls, television ratings and revenue, and NFL Films, begun in 1962, helped propel it. Sports Illustrated called the enterprise “perhaps the most effective propaganda organ in the history of corporate America.”

Although his father, Ed, founded NFL Films, Steve Sabol — the producer, writer, director and cameraman — created the images and sounds it became famous for: a kicked football floating end-over-end or a pigskin bullet spiraling in slow motion; a row of bruised and dirtied gladiators hunkering on the sideline; the crunch of bodies brawling at the line of scrimmage or colliding in the open field.