Steve Sabol, President of NFL Films, died of brain cancer at the age of 69 on Tuesday.
In March of 2011, Sabol learned that he had a brain tumor that couldn't be removed. He died just weeks away from his 70th birthday.
Sabol started out as a cameraman for the company alongside his father Ed, who founded the company and was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame.
"Steve was the creative genius behind NFL Films' remarkable work," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday in an email to NFL personnel. "Steve's passion for football was matched only by his talent and energy. He was a major contributor to the success of the NFL, a man who changed the way we looked at football and sports, and a great friend. His legacy is assured.
"Steve was an incredible visionary. He spent 50 years at the NFL and changed the way we see pro football. So when you're watching the games this week, it's worth remembering just how much Steve contributed to the way we think, see, and love our game."
NFL Films has won 107 Emmys.
Sabol is survived by his wife, Penny, his son Casey, his parents Audrey and Ed, and his sister Blair.
"Steve Sabol leaves a lasting impact on the National Football League that will be felt for a long time to come," the NFLPA said in a statement. "His vision and innovation helped make him a pioneer the likes of which the NFL has never seen before and won't see again.
"The Players of the NFL are indebted to Steve for his immense contributions to advancing our game and helping make the fan experience as great as it is. He was also a true friend of the Players. Our entire Player community will miss Steve, his brilliance and his warmth. He, and his father before him, linked generations of fans to generations of Players. We send our thoughts and condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. He was truly one of a kind."