We are remembering Chicago Bears legend, NFL Hall of Fame member, and former member of the WGN Radio broadcast team Dick Butkus. Butkus died today at age 80. Here are a couple of memories Number 51:

With David Kaplan, July 2013:

With David Kaplan, September 2009:

With David Kaplan, October 2007:

Bob Collins coaches Dick Butkus through the recording of a radio promo:

A classic TV commercial for Chicago Bears coverage on WGN Radio:

Statement from Butkus family:

The Butkus family confirms that football and entertainment legend Dick Butkus died peacefully in his sleep overnight at home in Malibu, California.

The Butkus family is gathering with Dick’s wife Helen. They appreciate your prayers and support.

Additional information will be provided when it is available.

Statement from Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey on passing of Bears Legend Dick Butkus:

Dick was the ultimate Bear, and one of the greatest players in NFL history. 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.  

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.