NFL Legend Dick Butkus’ Death Certificate Reveals Actual Cause of Death: Report

NFL Legend Dick Butkus’ Death Certificate Reveals Actual Cause of Death: Report

Legendary Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus died in his sleep last month, and now his death certificate has revealed the cause of that death.

Butkus died of a stroke, listed on his death certificate as a “cerebrovascular accident” by the Los Angeles Department of Health.

The 80-year-old was listed as a “linebacker” workign for the National Football League on the certificate — a fitting tribute, as TMZ pointed out, to one of the best even to play that position in the NFL.

Like so many other Americans, Butkus had also suffered from both high cholesterol and hardening of the arteries — more formally known as atherosclerosis — in the years prior to his death.

He’d also undergone coronary bypass over 20 years ago, in 2001, but more recently had been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat in recent weeks, according to the outlet.

Emergency responders pronounced Butkus dead at the scene on October 5 at his residence in Malibu, California, where they had been called on a report of a cardiac arrest.

“Dick was the ultimate Bear, and one of the greatest players in NFL history,” Bears chairman George McCaskey said in a statement after Butkus’ death, according to the New York Post.

“He was Chicago’s son. He exuded what our great city is about and, not coincidentally, 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.”

Sports Illustrated called Butkus “The Most Feared Man in Football” in its 1970 NFL preview, The Associated Press reported last month.

He was a first-team All-Pro five times and made the Pro Bowl in eight of his nine seasons before a knee injury forced his retirement at 31. He made it into the Hall of Fame the first time he was eligible, in 1979.

“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,” the AP reported.

“Whether the script called for comedy or drama, Butkus usually resorted to playing himself, often with his gruff exterior masking a softer side.”

Butkus grew up in Chicago, playing for Chicago Vocational High and the University of Illinois before signing with the Bears.

In his rookie year, Butkus intercepted five passes, recovered six fumbles and — unofficially — forced six more.

“Just to hit people wasn’t good enough,” teammate Ed O’Bradovich said. “He loved to crush people.”

Despite his talent, the Bears never made it to the postseason while Butkus was playing.

“There’s no reason why we can’t or shouldn’t be in the run all the time,” he said at the Bears’ 100th anniversary celebration in June 2019. “I know you’ve got those draft choices or whatever when you finish first all the time. How can you explain New England being up there all these years. That’s not right. The Bears should be the ones.”

He is survived by his wife, Helen, and children Ricky, Matt and Nikki.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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