Bears great Joe Fortunato dead at 87

Nov 10, 2017 457

BY: Brad Biggs

Joe Fortunato was such a dominating force during a 12-year career with the Bears that if he had played elsewhere, he might be even more revered as one of the game’s all-time great linebackers. But as a member of the Bears and a teammate of Bill George, known as the first true middle linebacker in the sport, Fortunato’s credentials never got quite the same consideration. Fortunato died Monday in Mississippi at 87.

“Joe Fortunato was not only a great player for the Chicago Bears, including being a part of our 1963 championship at Wrigley Field, he was a key figure in one of the greatest linebacker trios in Bears history alongside Hall of Famer Bill George and Larry Morris,” Bears Chairman George McCaskey said in a statement. “The Chicago Bears family extends our condolences to the Fortunato family on the passing of Joe.”

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