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Dick Butkus, fearsome Hall of Fame Chicago Bears linebacker, dies at 80

Bears Butkus 1970
Dick Butkus
Posted at 5:03 PM, Oct 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-05 19:05:25-04

CHICAGO (AP) — Dick Butkus, a fearsome middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears, has died, the team announced Thursday. He was 80.

According to a statement released by the team, Butkus' family confirmed that he died in his sleep overnight at his home in Malibu, California.

Butkus was a Hall of Famer whose bone-rattling tackles made him one of the most intimidating players in NFL history. He was the quintessential modern linebacker, a disruptive force who roamed sideline to sideline and left a trail of broken opponents behind.

He was a first-team All-Pro selection five times and made the Pro Bowl in eight of his nine seasons before knee injuries forced his retirement at age 31. Despite a short career, Butkus came to define his position. He routinely ranks among the NFL's top 100 players.

Playing off his tough-guy image, Butkus later acted in movies, TV shows and commercials.