Suzanne Mitchell, the woman credited for making the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders an iconic squad, passed away Tuesday, September 27 at the age of 73 after a brave battle against pancreatic cancer. As director of the DCC, Mitchell was almost solely responsible for the rise in popularity of the Cowboys Cheerleaders from simply a cheerleading squad to a brand. Mitchell directed the DCC from 1976 to 1989.
In August of 2015, Mitchell wrote a Survivor’s Story for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in which she shared memories from her days with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. She also recalled being in awe of the support she received from the organization after her cancer diagnosis.
“After my diagnosis, I was flooded with an outpouring of support. Some 500 cards landed in my mailbox, and I received so many flowers after my surgery that the hospital had to start turning them away. I really had no idea how many lives I had touched," Mitchell wrote.
“I believe that my diagnosis happened for a reason. My life has been extraordinary, exciting and so outrageous that at times it hasn’t seemed real. If the life I’ve led can be used to create awareness for the disease, wonderful. This is a perfect example of something happening through me.
“And I keep in mind that it’s not what happens to you … it’s what happens through you.”
“Suzanne was a pioneer in the world of professional sports as it pertained to cheerleaders and entertainment.” Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer Charlotte Anderson said in a statement on the Cowboys' website. “She was innovative, creative and always ahead of those who followed and tried to emulate the style and quality of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Her impact on our home games remains to this day, and her inspiration will always have a presence within our organization—and for fans of the DCC—for generations to come.”
Suzanne Mitchell was born on July 7, 1943 in Fort Worth, Texas. She is survived by her brother, W. W. Mitchell and his wife Beverly of Dallas and nephews Todd, Adam and Jake Mitchell, and niece Katherine Mitchell Richardson.
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