Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic 1 / 9
Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic 1 / 9

Tracy Morgan just couldn't give up. His family wouldn't let him.

"My wife wouldn't let me do that, my son wouldn't let me do that, and I looked at my little daughter's face, and they wouldn't let me do that," he said.

The "30 Rock" star opened up about the recovery he's made since his traumatic car crash last year that killed his friend James McNair. On Sunday, he made a surprise appearance at the Primetime Emmy Awards to present the final award of the evening.

"I just hope my tragedy and Jimmy's death isn't in vain. This thing that happened to me can be prevented now from people just dying in the road, that's what I hope," he told reporters after the show. "But I wouldn't give up. My father was drafted into Vietnam at 17 and he wouldn't give up, so I wanted to be like my father. Even when he got AIDS he never gave up, so we don't do that as Morgans."

While on stage, Tracy said he knew he had to maintain his composure.

"Thanks to my amazing doctors, and the support of my family and beautiful wife, I'm here. Standing on my own two feet," he told the A-list crowd that included many of his friends.

"It was very overwhelming. 15 months. I'd missed it," he said of that moment on stage. "So when I got on stage it was overwhelming for me. I had to not be so emotional in that moment -- I just wanted to let them know I missed them. I missed them very much."

Tracy was joined at the Emmy by his baby daughter, Maven, and his new wife, Megan Wollover.

"I wanted to walk my wife down the aisle with no cane," he said. "God allowed me the opportunity to be in front of my peers and they said, 'Welcome back Tray.'"