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The on-the-field accomplishments of Walter Payton have inspired fellow athletes and delighted sports fans for thirty years.  Walter's Chicago Bear records from 1975 through 1987 are long and impressive. While primarily a running back, Walter could also surprise defenses by throwing the ball as well. He was the NFL Player of the year and Most Valuable Player in both 1977 and 1985. His list of merits includes catching 492 passes for 4,538 yards and15 touchdowns, and passing 34 times for 331 yards and 8 touchdowns.  Walter's historical career as a running back helped to establish him as the all-time rushing leader from 1997 until 2002. Walter contributed 16,726 rushing yards with 100 touchdowns during his tenure with the bears. He was a first round draft choice from Jackson State, played in nine Pro Bowls, held the single game rushing record of 275 yards against the rival Minnesota Vikings, and ran for over 100 yards in 77 games.

While always being the number one target of defensive opponents, Walter missed only one game in his career game in his rookie season due to a bruised thigh, and he went on to play 186 consecutive games.

Born July 25, 1954 in Columbia, Mississippi, Walter continued his many philanthropic works through his Walter Payton Foundation. Through his personal involvement and devotion to children's causes he eased the suffering of many of our nation's neediest children.

The drive and determination Walter exhibited on the football field with the Chicago Bears continued to serve him well in his business career, including his Payton Power Equipment Company, the premier provider of heavy equipment to industrial and construction businesses in the Chicagoland area and nationally.

Walter Payton died in November 1999 of a rare form of cancer and liver disease.  He was only 45 years of age. His wife Connie, a daughter Brittany and a son Jarrett who was a member of the 2001 NCAA National Champion Miami Hurricane football team survived him. Six years earlier, in 1993, Walter had selected his son Jarrett as his presenter at the ceremony for his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH