BOSTON (CBS) – New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is set to be honored for all his work in the battle against cancer.

Kraft has been selected as the inaugural winner of the NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award, established to honor a leader in the sports industry whose life and family have been touched by cancer, and who encourages cancer research, prevention and treatment through awareness and philanthropy.

Kraft lost his wife, Myra, to ovarian cancer during the summer of 2011 as he helped the NFL and NFLPA reach a new collective bargaining agreement.

“Like many of us in the NFL community, Mr. Kraft has been personally affected by cancer,” DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said in a release. “Despite his loss, Mr. Kraft has continued to be a leader on cancer awareness, research and treatment. We are thrilled to honor his achievements and dedication to fighting cancer on this special night.”

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The Kraft family has donated over $100 million in support of local charities over the last four decades.

“Mr. Kraft is widely recognized as one of the most successful owners in professional sports, but he’s also a champion off the field,” said Georgetown Lombardi Director Louis M. Weiner, M.D.  “We honor Kraft for his vision to recognize the need for generous community support for cancer research if we are to defeat this devastating set of diseases.”

Kraft will be presented with the award during the 26th Annual Lombardi Gala on November 3 in Washington, D.C.

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The Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. is named after legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi, who died of cancer in 1970.


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