Osmond Family Patriarch Dies

As a former insurance man and devout Mormon, George Osmond probably was the person least likely to enter show business. But the patriarch of the Osmond clan shepherded his offspring to become one of the most successful musical families in show business. He died Tuesday at the age of 90 in his Utah home.

Family spokesman Kevin Sasaki said Osmond died at home, likely from natural causes incident to his age as he had not been ill, according to The Associated Press.

His legacy includes 55 grandchildren, 48 great grandchildren and helping his own nine children to superstardom.

With his wife at his side, George Osmond discovered his children's incredible talent on a cross country drive to Yellowstone National Park decades ago. The trip was the first step toward establishing the family's showbiz dominance.

Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay Osmond first became famous as the Osmond Brothers, a barbershop quartet singing at Disneyland and on "The Andy Williams Show."

Younger brother Donny Osmond joined the group at age 6 and became a teen heartthrob. He later hosted "The Donny and Marie Show" with his sister.

George Osmond helped his children stay away from the pressures of fame with love. And as he lay in his final hours, it was that same love that touched his children.

"I walk in and he just lights up and he says, 'Donny, I love you,'" said a tearful Donny Osmond. "He doesn't say much, but when he saw me and said, 'Donny I love you' -- my 90-year-old dad, who can't do much, but when he says, 'I love you,' that's all he needs to do."

George Osmond's daughter, Marie, gave one final salute to him Monday night during her performance on "Dancing with the Stars." Dressed in a military-inspired costume, Marie said she dedicated the performance to her parents, who had met when her father was in the service.

"They met in the military, my dad came back from the service," she said. "And they used to dance to make money to eat. I love that. And so this is for them."

In an interview, Olive Osmond, George's wife, recalled how she felt when they first met.

"He walked in with that uniform on and my heart just did a flip-flop," she said. Osmond married Olive on Dec. 1, 1944, according to the AP.

And with George Osmond's death the parental unit that helped the family members become household names ended. His wife died in 2004.

Their legacy will endure each time an Osmond performs onstage.