sport news REVEALED: Legendary Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus died from a stroke and ... trends now
Dick Butkus died from a stroke on October 5, according to his newly released death certificate.
The 80-year-old was also battling high cholesterol and atherosclerosis, which is a thickening of the arteries, TMZ is reporting. Butkus had coronary bypass surgery in 2001.
According to a statement released by the team, Butkus' family confirmed that he died in his sleep at his home in Malibu, California.
Butkus was a first-team All-Pro five times and made the Pro Bowl in eight of his nine seasons before a knee injury forced him to retire at 31. He was the quintessential Monster of the Midway and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility. He is still considered one of the greatest defensive players in league history.
'Dick Butkus was a fierce and passionate competitor who helped define the linebacker position as one of the NFL's all-time greats. Dick's intuition, toughness and athleticism made him the model linebacker whose name will forever be linked to the position and the Chicago Bears,' NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. 'We also remember Dick as a long-time advocate for former players, and players at all levels of the game.'
Dick Butkus died from a stroke on October 5, according to his newly released death certificate
Butkus was a first-team All-Pro five times and made the Pro Bowl in eight of his nine seasons
A moment of silence honoring Butkus was held before the Bears played at the Washington Commanders on Thursday night.
Trading on his image as the toughest guy in the room, Butkus enjoyed a long second career as a sports broadcaster, an actor in movies and TV series, and a sought-after pitchman for products ranging from antifreeze to beer. Whether the script called for comedy or drama, Butkus usually resorted to playing himself, often with his gruff exterior masking a softer side.
'I wouldn't ever go out to hurt anybody deliberately,' Butkus replied tongue-in-cheek when asked about his on-field reputation. 'Unless it was, you know, important ... like a league game or something.'
Butkus was the rare pro athlete who played his entire career close to home. He was a star linebacker, fullback and kicker at Chicago Vocational High who went on to play at the University of Illinois. Born on December 9, 1942 as the youngest of eight children, he grew up on the city's South Side as a fan of the Chicago