Dave Duerson, who started at safety for the 1985 Chicago Bears team, was found dead in his Miami home on Friday at the age of 50.
Investigators have yet to determine the cause of death and are awaiting the medical examiner's report.
Duerson played college football at Notre Dame where he started all four seasons and earned recognition as an All-American in 1981 and 1982.
Drafted in the third round by the Chicago Bears in 1983, Duerson worked his way into the starting line-up by 1985, when the Bears went 15-1 and won the Super Bowl. During the 1986 season, Duerson set an NFL record for most sacks in a season by a defensive back, with seven. He would attend four consecutive Pro Bowls between '86 and '89.
Bears blog Windy City Gridion remembers Duerson not just for what he did on the field but for what he accomplished off it as well:
His charitable contributions are many, owning and founding two substance abuse programs, promoting Special Olympics, offering free football camps in Chicago and Muncie that teach football fundamentals while promoting the importance of education and teaching kids about substance abuse prevention, serving as Chairman of the Board for the Dave Duerson Foundation (an organization which provides support for students pursuing entrepreneurial studies), giving his time as a member of Notre Dame's athletic mentoring program, and serving as a national trustee for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He was the NFL's Man of the Year in '87, the NFL's Humanitarian of the Year in '88 and Notre Dame's Monogram Club Member of the Year in '90.
He is survived by his ex-wife Alicia and their four children.