Kathie Lee Gifford makes an emotional return to ‘Today’

Kathie Lee Gifford returned to her co-host chair on the fourth hour of NBC's "Today" on Monday, her first appearance since the death of her husband, Frank Gifford.

She thanked viewers and her colleagues for the outpouring of tributes to her husband of 29 years, a former New York Giants football star and broadcaster.

"It's a heck of a way to find out how loved you are," she told co-host Hoda Kotb.

See the most-read stories this hour >>

Frank Gifford died Aug. 9 of natural causes at the family's home in Connecticut. He was 84.

She also expressed thanks that he died peacefully and without pain.

"The only thing Frank was afraid of was being a burden to those he loved," she said.

SIGN UP for the free Essential Arts & Culture newsletter >>

Gifford tearfully reminisced about her husband, noting that when she was annoyed with him he'd say, "You know, a lot of people like me."

Gifford managed to milk some laughs from the emotional return. A box of tissues was lowered from above after her opening comments.


Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford a match made for TV

As a couple, Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford took scandals in stride

Kathie Lee 'remarkably strong' after Frank Gifford's death

Get our daily Entertainment newsletter