A native of Floral, Saskatchewan, Howe is best known for his tenure with the Detroit Red Wings, who announced his death. He played in Detroit from 1946 to 1971, winning four Stanley Cups. He retired with 801 goals in his National Hockey League career, second only behind the record of Wayne Gretzky.
Howe long maintained his record of 20 straight seasons as a top-five scorer in the league was his proudest accomplishment in the sport.
He moved on to the upstart World Hockey Association, playing for teams in Houston and Hartford. In all he played 25 years in the NHL, six in the WHA, then one more year in the NHL as the Hartford team entered the league. He skated for one shift in 1997, at age 69, for the minor league Detroit Vipers, putting a close on 33 years of playing professional hockey.
Soft-spoken and shy off the ice, with an easy laugh and a self-depreciating sense of humor, he was known as a battler. A phrase still used in hockey parlance is "the Gordie Howe hat trick," which is the accomplishment by one player, of a goal, an assist and a fight in a single game.
After the death of his wife, Coleen, in 2009, Howe became involved in the fight against Alzheimer 's disease, establishing a foundation in partnership with the University of Toronto.(end UP story - Photos are not from UP)