Gil Santos, long time voice of The New England Patriots, passed away yesterday, on his 78th birthday. According to ESPN, the legendary commentator called 743 games for the Pats, over 36 seasons.  WBZ NewsRadio confirmed Santos' death, however declined to give a cause. Santos was a sports anchor at WBZ for 38 years.

Santos began with the Patriots in 1966 broadcasting games as a color analyst. He took over play-by-play duties when the team relocated to Foxborough in 1971 and remained a staple through the 2012 season.  In addition to his work with the Patriots organization, Santos also called many Boston College football games, and had stints in broadcasting for The Boston Celtics, Penn State Football, and Big East Basketball.

In 2013, he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.

It was my privilege to honor Gil with his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2013.  His legacy and most memorable calls will live there for future generations of Patriots fans to enjoy.

Patriots Chairman and CEO, Robert Kraft

Santos was born in Acushnet, Massachusetts, and grew up in Fairhaven. He attended Southeastern Massachusetts University, served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and graduated from the New England Broadcast School.

Santos is survived by his wife Roberta, daughter Kathleen and son Mark.