Former Bears Chairman Michael McCaskey dies of cancer at age 76

Michael McCaskey and Virginia McCaskey after the Bears won the 2007 NFC Championship game between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois on January 21, 2007. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Former Bears Chairman Michael B. McCaskey has passed away at the age of 76.

The cause of death was cancer, said the Bears in a statement on Saturday.

Michael McCaskey took over for George Halas in 1983. He was president and CEO of the Bears and held that position until 1999, when he became the team’s chairman. 

Under Michael McCaskey’s leadership, the Bears had eight playoff seasons, claimed six NFC Central division titles and were crowned Super Bowl XX Champions. Following the 1985 Super Bowl championship, his peers voted him NFL Executive of the Year. 

“Mike was already successful in every sense of the word when he took over for George S. Halas after the passing of ‘Papa Bear’ in 1983,” said the McCaskey family in a statement. “We are grateful to Mike for overseeing arguably the greatest team in NFL history, and for his many years of service to the Bears and to us. The oldest of eleven siblings has many duties thrust upon him, not all of them pleasant, yet Mike handled them all with grace and patience."

The McCaskey family said that Michael McCaskey's death was not due to coronavirus, but that the virus has prevented them from gathering together and grieving.