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Bears great Doug Buffone dead at 70

Former Bears great Doug Buffone died at his Chicago home on Monday. He was 70.

Paramedics were called to his home on the West Side, but they found the former linebacker dead due to natural causes,
police spokesman Thomas Sweeney said.

Buffone played 14 seasons for the Bears and was the team’s all-time leader in games played when he retired in 1980. He had seven seasons of 100-plus tackles and his 24 career interceptions are the most by any Bears linebacker. The Bears drafted Buffone out of Louisville in the fourth round of the 1966 draft.

Buffone grew up in Yatesboro, Pa., and was the son of a coal miner.

Hall of Fame teammate Dick Butkus said a “great man” was lost. “I will always remember him for his football talent, sense of humor and enduring friendship,” Butkus said. “He was a very special guy.”

Former Bears coach Mike Ditka said he has “nothing but great memories about him.”

In more recent years, Buffone co-hosted a lively Bears postgame show with ex-Bears teammate Ed O’Bradovich on The Score (670-AM).

“Our thoughts go out to the Buffone family after hearing about the passing of our very own Doug Buffone,” Score operations director Mitch Rosen wrote in a statement. “Doug was a Score original and an all-around genuine guy. Kindhearted, passionate, and honest, he touched the hearts of many. You will be missed, #55.”

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Contributing: AP