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Eleven years ago today, we lost perhaps the greatest Chicago Bear of all time. On November 1st, 1999 Walter Payton lost his battle with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a rare liver disease.
Payton retired as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. He ran for 16,726 yards, all with the Bears.
Maybe the most complete running back in the history of the league, Payton also held the NFL records for career rushing touchdowns (110), rushing yards in a single game (275), career rushing attempts (3,838), yards from scrimmage (21,803) and all purpose yards (21,803). Payton famously threw for eight touchdowns in his career and also had 492 receptions for 4,538 yards and 15 touchdowns.
LISTEN: Walter Payton Speaks About Battling His Illness
Payton’s legacy lives on not only in the hearts and minds of every Bears fan, but also through the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation, which raises awareness of the need for organ donations and is widely credited with bringing national attention to the problem.