John Madden, the Hall of Fame coach who became one of America’s most recognizable ambassadors of professional football, reaching millions, and generations, from the broadcast booth and the popular video game that bears his name, died on Tuesday. He was 85.

The National Football League announced his death in a statement that didn’t include the cause. He died at his home in Pleasanton, California, his agent, Sandy Montag, said.

In his irrepressible way, and with his distinctive voice, Madden left an imprint on the sport on par with titans like George Halas, Paul Brown and his coaching idol, Vince Lombardi. Madden’s influence, steeped in Everyman sensibilities and studded with wild gesticulations and paroxysms of onomatopoeia — wham! doink! whoosh! — made the NFL more interesting, more relevant and more fun, for over 40 years.