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November 1, 1999

Governor Ryan Offers Condolences to Payton Family

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan offered his heartfelt condolences today to the family and friends of Hall of Fame Chicago Bear running back Walter Payton, who passed away today.

"Lura Lynn and I offer our sincerest sympathies to Walter Payton's wife, their children and their entire family. Walter's heroics on the gridiron as he broke rushing records and helped lead the Bears to a Super Bowl victory thrilled Bears fans for years. His on-field heroics were surpassed by his off-field efforts to help countless children and families with the Walter Payton Foundation, his devotion to his family and his courage throughout his illness.

"Perhaps the best way for people to remember Walter Payton would be to join the organ donor program which saves lives," Gov. Ryan said of Payton, who died of a liver disease while waiting for a transplant.

"We will never forget what Walter Payton has meant to Chicago and his family will be in our thoughts and prayers."


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