Michael McCaskey, who led the Chicago Bears for nearly three decades following the death of his grandfather George Halas, died Saturday after a lengthy battle with cancer, the team said. He was 76.
“Michael McCaskey proudly carried forth the legacy of his grandfather and NFL pioneer George Halas as team president and chairman and played an instrumental role in the success and popularity of the Bears,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall said in a statement.
Goodall said McCaskey was a calm and sound voice in league meetings, befitting of his time as a professor before becoming Bears’ president.
The oldest of Ed and team matriarch Virginia McCaskey’s 11 children, Michael assumed operational control of the franchise in 1983 as president and CEO following the death of Halas, a founding father of the NFL and the franchise. Michael McCaskey became chairman in 1999 and remained in that role until George McCaskey took over in 2011.
The Bears made 12 playoff appearances and won the Super Bowl in January 1986. Michael McCaskey was chosen NFL Executive of the Year by his peers following the 1985 championship season.
He is survived by his 97-year-old mother, children John and Kathryn, and grandson Jackson.