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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) –  Suzanne Mitchell, the longtime and legendary director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, passed away Tuesday at the age of 73.

Mitchell began her career as an assistant to the Club President and General Manager, Tex Schramm. She oversaw the style, growth and tremendous popularity of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders from 1976 to 1989.

Mitchell set the standard for cheerleading, dance performance, and game day entertainment while building a brand that transformed the Cowboys Cheerleaders into the most iconic group of its kind in the world.

In 1979, Mitchell instituted the DCC Show group’s annual visits to U.S. military installations around the world. Currently, the Cowboys Cheerleaders have made more international tours with the USO than any other entertainment group.  They were also the subject of two made-for-television movies in 1979 and 1980.

“Suzanne was a pioneer in the world of professional sports as it pertained to cheerleaders and entertainment,” said Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer Charlotte Anderson.  “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.”

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