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Before there was ever an Erin Andrews, Samantha Ponder, Michele Tafoya, Linda Cohn, or Hannah Storm, there was the original Phyllis George. George debuted on CBS’s NFL pre-game show, The NFL Today, in 1974 with Brent Musburger, Irv Cross, and Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder. She was a pioneer in becoming the first female sportscaster at a major network. She died in May 2020. What was Phyllis George’s net worth at the time of her death?

Phyllis George’s trailblazing career

While Phyllis George became a fixture on Sunday morning television in households across the country during the 1974 NFL season, it was three years earlier George caught the nation’s attention when she was crowned Miss America.

Although George was considered a pretty face in the male-only business, she held her own each telecast bantering back and forth with Musburger and Cross during the popular pre-game show. During her time on the show, George also had more than her share of intriguing interviews with some of the game’s big-name players.

In one interview, George spoke with Dallas Cowboys star quarterback Roger Staubach about his all-American image and elicited a surprising response. “I enjoy sex as much as Joe Namath,” Staubach said. “I only do it with one girl (wife). But it’s still fun.” 

George stayed with The NFL Today for three seasons before she was replaced in 1978 by Jayne Kennedy. Two years later, George returned to the show for a second stint and worked with the crew from 1980-1984. 

George’s work outside of The NFL Today

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While George gained notoriety on The NFL Today, she also did various other work for the network, including coverage of horse racing and the NBA. At the end of her second stint on The NFL Today, she was recruited to work for the news division.

In 1985, George served as co-anchor for the CBS Morning News. She only lasted for eight months before she became embroiled in a controversy over an interview and resigned. She would later say that was one of the toughest times in her professional life. 

After George left CBS, she hosted a talk show on the Nashville Network and started a couple of businesses. Her first, Chicken by George, was a maker of marinated fresh chicken-breast entrees, which she eventually sold to Hormel Foods. Her other business was Phyllis George Beauty, a line of cosmetics and skin-care products, sold on the Home Shopping Network.

What was Phyllis George’s net worth?

During George’s time at CBS, she earned around $175,000 per year. Outside of her professional life, George married twice. Her first marriage to Robert Evans, the former head of Paramount Pictures and film producer, lasted just over a year. 

She later married John Y. Brown Jr., who built the Kentucky Fried Chicken empire and was elected governor of Kentucky in 1979. George served as Kentucky’s first lady for four years, and they had two children.

George died on May 14 at the age of 70. She is survived by her two children, Lincoln Tyler George Brown and daughter Pamela Brown, a reporter for CNN.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, at the time of her death, George had an estimated net worth of $10 million with the combined wealth from her career earnings and businesses.