In Memory of Former Bears Chairman Michael McCaskey
Mike McCaskey, former Chicago Bears Chairman and grandson to NFL founder George Halas, was part of an iconic legacy that predates the NFL itself.
Image courtesy of the Associated Press
Wilson is saddened to learn of the passing of Mike McCaskey. McCaskey succeeded his grandfather, George Halas, as the CEO of the Bears in 1983. He served in this role during the iconic 1985 Bears Super Bowl and was subsequently voted Executive of the Year. McCaskey later served as Bears Chairman until 2011 when his brother George assumed the role.
Chicagoans and NFL stalwarts paid tribute to McCaskey’s spirit on Twitter:
RIP Michael McCaskey! Five years before I became the HC of the Bears, I attended an NFL Symposium to help minority assistants become head coaches. I was blessed to randomly sit at the same table as Michael.— Lovie Smith (@LovieSmith) May 17, 2020
Statement on the passing of Mike McCaskey pic.twitter.com/j5Xq0jB13V— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 17, 2020
Rest In Peace, Mike McCaskey. Mike took over for Papa Bear and represented the Bears with grace and dignity. Typical of the McCaskey family, Mike was classy, interesting, and lived life to the fullest. He will be missed.— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) May 17, 2020
“We are grateful to Mike for overseeing arguably the greatest team in NFL history, and for his many years of service to the Bears and to us," said the McCaskey family. https://t.co/0ccHi4sWgD— Eyewitness News WTVO/WQRF (@MyStateline) May 17, 2020
Wilson’s relationship with the McCaskey/Halas family is synonymous with our relationship with the Chicago Bears—our longest-standing partnership with any NFL team.
McCaskey’s grandfather, George Halas, was instrumental in forging both the relationship between Wilson and the Bears, and Wilson and the NFL. In the late 1930s, the local Chicago businessman and Chicago Bears owner connected the dots between Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co. (who had been producing hand-sewn footballs) and the also-Chicago-based Horween Leather Co., a well-known manufacturer of fine leathers. He wanted to ensure the sport, which was rapidly ascending to the national stage, was equipped with the highest quality equipment possible. Horween has supplied the leather for all Wilson game balls ever since.
In April 1940, Halas made a motion for Wilson to become the league’s official football supplier at an NFL owners meeting. The motion was seconded by NY Giants owner Wellington “Duke” Mara, and the deal was made official. The official NFL game ball has been known as “The Duke” ever since. (You can read more about the history of the Duke here.) The Wilson x NFL relationship endures to this day.
#TeamWilson extends our sincerest condolences to the McCaskey/Halas family for their loss.