clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Doug Atkins dies at the age 85

Former Chicago Bears great Doug Atkins has passed away at the age of 85.

Atkins was originally a first round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns in 1953 before being traded to the Bears in 1955, where he played until the 1966 season. Before the 1967 season Atkins asked to be traded and the Bears sent him to the New Orleans Saints where he played the 16th and 17th years of his illustrious career.

Atkins won two NFL Championships, first in 1954 with the Browns and then in 1963 as a member of the Bears. It was with the Bears where he garnered the most personal accolades in making 8 Pro Bowls (1957-1963, 1965) and being named 1st team all Pro 4 times (1958, 1960, 1961, 1963).

Atkins was named to the NFLs 1960 All Decade team and he was elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame with the 1982 class.

Sacks weren't an official stat when Atkins played, but he was one of the most feared pass rushers of his era. At 6'8", 260 pounds he had a combination of speed and strength that was rare for his era.

Here's the statement from Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey

"Doug Atkins is an all-time great who will be remembered as one of the pillars of the 1963 Championship Bears. He had a freakish combination of size and athletic ability and was as tough as anyone who ever stepped on a football field. Doug wasn't afraid to offer his opinion off the field as well and had a unique communication style when it came to interacting with Coach Halas. He embodied the spirit and commitment of what it means to be a Bear.

"Our prayers are with Doug's wife, Sylvia, and their family."