CHICAGO — Chicago Bears legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers has died at the age of 77, according to Pro Football Hall of Fame CEO David Baker.
Known as the ‘Kansas Comet’, Sayers was selected 4th overall out of the University of Kansas in 1965, and burst onto the scene of the NFL as a star immediately.
Along with an NFL Rookie of the Year award in 1965, Sayers accumulated four Pro Bowl selections, five first-team All-Pro selections, along with winning the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in 1969.
Despite playing only 68 NFL games due to injuries later in his career, Sayers was a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer, and was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a Kansas Jayhawk.
Sayers made history as the youngest Hall of Fame inductee ever at age 34, and continued his involvement with football as the athletic director for Southern Illinois University from 1976-1981.
Sayers later founded Crest Computer Supply Co. in Chicago in 1984, a company eventually renamed Sayers 40, Inc., a technology consulting firm serving Fortune 1000 companies.
Sayers and his wife, Ardythe, were philanthropists in the Chicago area, supporting the Cradle Foundation, which founded the Gale Sayers Center in Austin.
Sayers has his number 40 retired by the Chicago Bears, and was named the fifth-greatest Bear of all time in a list made by the franchise in 2019.