Posnanski also describes the night Paterno was fired by his beloved Penn State, as the board of trustees told him to cancel a press conference Paterno had called to discuss what he knew about the abuse.
"About an hour before the scheduled time, a university representative called D'Elia and said the press conference had been canceled by order of the board," the book says. "Later, a rumor surfaced that the university was going to have its own press conference. 'That's it,' D'Elia told Paterno family members. 'They are going to take Joe out.'"
The day after he was fired, Paterno sobbed uncontrollably, the book reports.
"He had his dark moments, certainly, when he wondered how old friends could turn so suddenly on him and how people at Penn State, the school he had loved and championed for most of his life, could believe such terrible things about him," the book reads.
In the end, however, Paterno seemed to shrug off the criticism.
"'[The criticism] really doesn't matter,' said Paterno in our last conversation," Posnanski writes. "'It really doesn't. I know what I tried to do. Maybe everybody will see that in time. Maybe they won't. Maybe they will judge me by what I tried to do. Maybe they won't. What difference does it make? I just hope there is justice for the victims.'"
The book details Paterno's struggle with lung cancer from November 2011 through January 2012, when he died. In final interviews with Posnanski, Paterno came to accept what had happened with his reputation, Posnanski writes.
"'You know what?' Joe said. 'I'm not going to feel sorry for myself. Are you kidding? I've lived a great life. Healthy children. Healthy grandchildren. Loving wife. I look around the world and see people who have real problems, serious problems. I'm the luckiest guy.'"