Gale Sayers Wiki – Gale Sayers Biography
Gale Sayers was an American professional football player. He played his entire NFL career for seven seasons from 1965-71 with the Chicago Bears. The Bears selected Sayers with the fourth pick in the 1965 draft out of Kansas. As a rookie, he set an NFL record with 22 touchdowns. He was named NFL Rookie of the Year (1965).
In his second season in 1966, Sayers led the NFL in rushing with 1,231 yards and set a league record with 2,440 all-purpose yards. He topped the Bears in receiving with 34 catches for 447 yards, averaged 31.2 yards on 23 kickoff returns, and scored 12 total touchdowns—eight rushing, two receiving, and two on kickoff returns.
Sayers set a Bears rushing record with 205 yards on 24 carries in a win over the Packers on Nov. 3, 1968. But a week later he tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee against the 49ers when he was hit by defensive back Kermit Alexander and was lost for the season. Sayers was leading the NFL in rushing at the time with 856 yards.
Sayers rebounded from the injury to lead the NFL in rushing in 1969 with 1,032 yards. But he injured his left knee in a 1970 preseason game and was limited to two regular-season contests because of it. Eased back into the lineup in 1971, he hurt his ankle and played in only two games. Sayers retired in the summer of 1972 after fumbling twice on three carries in a preseason contest against the St. Louis Cardinals.
After retiring from the NFL, Sayers served as athletic director at Southern Illinois University from 1976-81. In 1984, he founded a successful computer supply company.
Gale Sayers Age
Gale Sayers was born on May 30, 1943, in Wichita, Kansas. He died on September 23, 2020, in Wakarusa, Indiana. He was 77.
Gale Sayers was married to his wife Ardythe Bullard from 1973 until his death in September 2020. He was previously married to his first wife Linda McNeil from 1962–1973.
Gale Sayers had three children from his first marriage including Gayle Lynne and Scott Aaron.
Gale Sayers was the son of Roger Winfield Sayers and Bernice Ross. His father was a mechanic for Goodyear, farmed, and worked for auto dealerships. Sayers’ younger brother, Ron, later played running back for the San Diego Chargers of the American Football League. Roger, his older brother, was a decorated college track and field athlete.
Gale Sayers Death
Gale Sayers passed away on Wednesday, September 23, 2020, at the age of 77. Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey said in a statement: “Football fans know well Gale’s many accomplishments on the field: a rare combination of speed and power as the game’s most electrifying runner, a dangerous kick returner, his comeback from a serious knee injury to lead the league in rushing, and becoming the youngest player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. People who weren’t even football fans came to know Gale through the TV movie ‘Brian’s Song,’ about his friendship with teammate Brian Piccolo. Fifty years later, the movie’s message that brotherhood and love needn’t be defined by skin color, still resonates. Coach [George] Halas said it best, when presenting Gale for induction at the Hall of Fame: ‘His like will never be seen again.’ On behalf of the McCaskey family, we offer our sincerest condolences to [his wife] Ardie and the entire Sayers family.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement: “The NFL family lost a true friend today with the passing of Gale Sayers. Gale was one of the finest men in NFL history and one of the game’s most exciting players. Gale was an electrifying and elusive runner who thrilled fans every time he touched the ball. He earned his place as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. We will also forever remember Gale for his inspiration and kindness. Gale’s quiet unassuming demeanor belied his determination, competitiveness, and compassion. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Ardie, and their family. Our thoughts are with his teammates, the Bears organization, the many fans who remember him as a football player, and the many more people who were touched by Gale’s spirit and generosity.”
Butkus, a Hall of Fame middle linebacker who was selected by the Bears one pick ahead of Sayers in the 1965 draft, said in a statement: “Will miss a great friend who helped me become the player I became because after practicing and scrimmaging against Gale I knew I could play against anybody. We lost one of the best Bears ever and more importantly, we lost a great person.”
Hall of Fame President David Baker said in a statement: “All those who love the game of football mourn the loss of one of the greatest to ever play this game with the passing of Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers. He was the very essence of a team player—quiet, unassuming, and always ready to compliment a teammate for a key block. Gale was an extraordinary man who overcame a great deal of adversity during his NFL career and life. The ‘Kansas Comet’ burst onto the scene in the National Football League and captured the attention of all of America. Despite playing only 68 NFL games because of an injury-shortened career, Gale was a clear-cut—and first-ballot—Hall of Famer for his accomplishments on the field and for the man of character he was in life. The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Gale. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Ardie, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations. The Hall of Fame flag will fly at half-staff until he is laid to rest.”
Cause of Death
Gale Sayers’ cause of death was complications from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In a 2017 interview, Gale Sayers’ wife, Ardythe Bullard, revealed that the Hall of Fame running back had been diagnosed with dementia in 2013.
Gale Sayers’ net worth was estimated to be $50 million.
Gale Sayers was 6 feet 0 inch (1.83 m) tall.