Boston Marathon Icon Dick Hoyt Has Died | 22 Words

The devoted father, Dick Hoyt, who ran multiple marathons while pushing his son in a wheelchair, has sadly died.

His cause of death has since been confirmed...

The eighty-year-old inspired thousands with his incredible story...

Of how he pushed his son, Rick Hoyt, in a wheelchair at the annual race for decades.

Dick ran his first marathon with his quadriplegic son, who also has cerebral palsy, in 1977...

After his son wanted to raise money for a lacrosse player who became paralyzed following a tragic accident.

That was the start of Team Hoyt. They went on to complete their first Boston Marathon in 1980.

"When we run it makes me feel like my disability disappears," Rick told PEOPLE in 2013.

Together, they launched the Hoyt Foundation, helping inspire disabled young people in America, in 1989.

Through running, Dick and Rick raised more than a million dollars for charity.

Dick retired from running in 2014, after completing the Boston Marathon thirty-two times with Rick.

The pair even have a statue at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass, in honor of their achievements.

People have been left devastated by the news...

Russ Hoyt, one of his sons, told the Associated Press...

"He had an ongoing heart condition that he had been struggling with for years and it just got the better of him."

Russ, who broke news to Rick, said he is "sad, as we all are, but he's OK."

"You could see it in him, it was like someone hit him," Russ said.

Boston Athletic Association gave a statement...

"The B.A.A. is tremendously saddened to learn of the passing of Boston Marathon icon Dick Hoyt. Dick personified what it meant to a be a Boston Marathoner, showing determination, passion, and love every Patriots' Day for more than three decades."

They continued...

"He was not only a fan-favorite who inspired thousands, but also a loyal friend and father who took pride in spending quality time with his son Rick while running from Hopkinton to Boston. The pair's bond and presence throughout the course became synonymous with the Boston Marathon."

"Dick Hoyt was one-of-a-kind. We will sincerely miss Dick, and are keeping his many family and friends in our thoughts and prayers," the association said.

According to his family, Dick died in his sleep at his home on Wednesday morning.

Rest in peace.