Chicago Bears Announce the Passing of Former Chicago Bears Chairman Michael McCaskey at Age 76

Michael B. McCaskey 1943 - 2020
Michael B. McCaskey 1943 - 2020.

The Chicago Bears announced Saturday May 16, 2020 the passing of Michael B. McCaskey, the oldest son of Ed and Virginia McCaskey and grandson of George Halas, at age 76.

It is with great sadness the Chicago Bears and the McCaskey family mourn the loss of Michael B. McCaskey, 76, after his lengthy battle with cancer.

— Chicago Bears

Michael McCaskey joined the family business in 1983, when he succeeded his grandfather, George S. Halas, as President & CEO and held that position until 1999 when he became the team’s chairman. Under McCaskey’s leadership, the Bears had eight playoff seasons, claimed six NFC Central division titles and were crowned Super Bowl XX Champions. Following the 1985 Super Bowl championship, his peers voted him NFL Executive of the Year. Michael also served as Chairman of the Board of the Bears from 1999-2011.

In the spring of 1997, under Michael’s guidance, the Bears moved from the original Halas Hall on the campus of Lake Forest College to a new state-of-the-art home at 1920 Football Drive in Lake Forest, where the team resides today. The move provided the team its own private campus that included an indoor practice facility in addition to space that recently was further developed to include a total of four outdoor practice fields and 305,500 square feet of indoor training and office space.

Michael was also a co-founder of the team’s charitable foundation Bears Care in 2005, which has since granted more than $21 million to over 100 agencies throughout the Chicagoland community through targeted programs supporting education, youth athletics and medical research and health awareness programs focusing on breast and ovarian cancer.

“My heart is heavy as I think about Michael McCaskey and can’t believe he is no longer with us. His fierce love of the Bears was unmatched as was his intellectual capacity and thirst for knowledge on a myriad of subjects. Michael displayed a professorial presence that could be challenging, but was also inspiring. I will be forever grateful for the many opportunities for growth that he provided me, as well as for his trust and support. Michael always strived to do things the right way with high character and with the Bears best interests always paramount. Michael was a good man, gone much too soon. He presided over the only Super Bowl Championship Chicago Bears team in 1985, and I know he is still smiling about that magical season. God bless Michael and his family.”

— Bears President & CEO Ted Phillips

McCaskey served on the National Football League’s Long Range Planning Committee, Expansion Committee, Stadium Committee and Finance Committee. He was a member of the Chicago Field Museum of National History, the Economic Club of Chicago, the Commercial Club of Chicago, the World Presidents’ Organization, and the Union League Club of Chicago. He was a Director of WTTW, the Chicago based public television station, and served on the Board of the Big Shoulders Organization, which supports schools in the inner city of Chicago. McCaskey was also on the Advisory Committee to the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago and helped establish an Information Technology Training Center for immigrants to Chicago.

McCaskey graduated from Yale University in 1965 having majored in philosophy and psychology. He spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching science, English and music to junior high students in Ethiopia. He earned his doctorate in business from Case Western Reserve University in 1972. McCaskey taught organizational behavior and management courses at UCLA for three years. He then became an Associate Professor at the Harvard Business School. During his seven years in Boston, McCaskey taught MBAs and Executives, wrote numerous journal articles, case studies and a book, ­The Executive Challenge: Managing Change and Ambiguity. Michael McCaskey also enjoyed photography.

Michael was the oldest of Ed and Virginia McCaskey’s 11 children. He is survived by his two children, John and Kathryn, and one grandson, Jackson.




Michael B. McCaskey 1943 - 2020
Michael B. McCaskey 1943 – 2020.

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