A Hall of Famer best known as Mr. Hockey, Howe holds NHL records for most games (1,767) and seasons (26), and is second in goals scored, only behind later legend Wayne Gretzky.
He won four Stanley Cup championships with the Red Wings, and played in the league until he was 52 — an unheard of age for a pro athlete, and a long enough career that he was actually able to take the ice professionally with his two sons.
More recently, Howe suffered from dementia and memory loss, and two strokes in 2014 disabled him and greatly affected his health.
Celebs from the sports world, Hollywood, and beyond reacted with sadness to the news this morning, taking to Twitterto share their condolences for this man who, by all accounts, was as gracious and polite as he was talented (below):
RIP #MrHockey. In the few interactions I had with him, Gordie Howe was warm, kind and classy. My condolences to his family and @NHL nation.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) June 10, 2016
My condolences to the family of Gordie Howe, the Detroit Red Wings and all his fans around the world. He will always be Mr. Hockey.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 10, 2016