Monday, March 8, 1999 Published at 17:09 GMT
Baseball legend DiMaggio dies
Joe DiMaggio - an icon of American sport
The ex-New York Yankees baseball star and former husband of Marilyn Monroe had been suffering from lung cancer.
"DiMaggio, the consummate gentleman on and off the field, fought his illness as hard as he played the game of baseball and with the same dignity, style and grace with which he lived his life," Engelberg said.
He underwent surgery for lung cancer last October but suffered further complications and struggled to recover.
DiMaggio was released from Florida's Memorial Regional Hospital last month after a 99-day stay that had been remarkable for the extent of press and TV coverage of his condition.
He will be buried in San Francisco.
The Yankee Clipper
Known as the "Yankee Clipper", DiMaggio was thought of by many as one of the greatest players ever to have swung a bat.
Name-checked in the works of leading 20th century cultural figures like Ernest Hemingway and Paul Simon, DiMaggio transcended his status as a ballplayer and occupied a unique place in American life.
The world of baseball paid tribute to one of the sport's most potent performers.
Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner said: "Like his many fans across America, and indeed, around the world, the Yankees are deeply saddened by the passing of Joe DiMaggio, one of our own and one of the greatest of all time.
"It was the class and dignity with which he led his life that made him part of all of us."
"All of baseball is deeply saddened", baseball commissioner Allan "Bud" Selig said in a statement calling the athlete "the personification of grace, class and dignity on the baseball diamond."