Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Walter "Sweetness" Payton
Birth: Jul. 25, 1954
Marion County
Mississippi, USA
Death: Nov. 1, 1999
Cook County
Illinois, USA

Hall of Fame Professional Football Player. For thirteen seasons (1975 to 1987), he played at the running back position in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears. Nicknamed "Sweetness", he was one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. Born Walter Jerry Payton in Columbia, Mississippi, he attended Jackson State University (where he earned All-American status) and was selected by the Bears during the 1st round (fourth overall pick) of the 1975 NFL Draft. Payton established himself a dominate force on the ground, as he topped the 1,000-yard mark for rushing ten-times, including his league-leading 1,852 in 1977 (also leading the league with 14 touchdowns) and earned his first MVP Award in 1977. In 1985, he experienced his only championship season while receiving his second MVP Award (The Bert Bell Trophy), as the Bears were en route to defeating the New England Patriots 46 to 10 in Super Bowl XX played on January 26th, 1986. Payton rushed for 61 yards during the contest. In the course of his career, he achieved Pro-Bowl status nine-times (1976 to 1980, 1983 to 1986) and First-Team All-Pro honors five-times (1976, 1977, 1980, 1984 and 1985). In 190 regular season games, he amassed 16,726 rushing yards with 110 touchdowns and compiled 4,538 reception yards with 15 touchdowns. At the conclusion of his career, he was the all-time leader in career rushing yards which has since been surpassed by Emmitt Smith. He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996. Following his playing career, he was involved with various business endeavors. Payton was diagnosed with a liver disease known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and succumbed from the condition at age 45 on November 1st, 1999. (bio by: C.S.) 
Family links: 
  Edward Payton (1924 - 1978)
  Alyne S. Payton (1926 - 2013)

Cause of death: Liver disease complicated by cancer
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Specifically: Ashes Given to Family
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Nov 08, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 6885
Walter Sweetness Payton
Added by: Warrick L. Barrett
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Stacey
 Added: Nov. 14, 2015

- Belle
 Added: Nov. 14, 2015

- LawBaby
 Added: Nov. 1, 2015
There are 1,018 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.7 after 303 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service