By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
NFL legend Dick Butkus has passed away. He was 80.
An official cause of death has not been announced yet. While no cause of death was announced, the Chicago Bears said that “he passed away peacefully overnight” in Malibu, California.
“Dick was the ultimate Bear, and one of the greatest players in NFL history,” Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said in a statement. “He was Chicago’s son. He exuded what our great city is about and, not coincidently, what George Halas looked for in a player: toughness, smarts, instincts, passion, and leadership. He refused to accept anything less than the best from himself, or from his teammates. When we dedicated the George Halas statue at our team headquarters, we asked Dick to speak at the ceremony, because we knew he spoke for Papa Bear.
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“Dick had a gruff manner, and maybe that kept some people from approaching him, but he actually had a soft touch. His legacy of philanthropy included a mission of ridding performance-enhancing drugs from sports and promoting heart health. His contributions to the game he loved will live forever and we are grateful he was able to be at our home opener this year to be celebrated one last time by his many fans. We extend our condolences to Helen, Dick’s high school sweetheart and wife of 60 years, and their family.”
Butkus, who was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year played his entire career with the Bears. He played for the team from 1965 through 1973.
He was their 3rd overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft. During his career, he was also named to the Pro Bowl eight times.
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Butkus was a member of the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team and the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team. He was also named to the NFL’s 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.
His No. 51 is retired by the Bears organization. Plus, he is one of the 100 greatest Bears players of all time.
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