JACKSON, Miss. — Former Jackson State and Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton was honored on Jackson State’s campus Monday morning on what would have been his 57th birthday.
Several family members gathered at the Walter Payton Center, placing 12 red roses and one white rose on the plaque that honors Payton outside of the building.
Payton died in 1999 of a rare liver disease.
Payton, who was nicknamed “Sweetness,” was a star at Jackson State in the early 1970s, rushing for more than 3,500 yards and 65 touchdowns while earning All-American honors in 1973. He was one of the best running backs in NFL history, rushing for 16,726 yards and 110 touchdowns during a 13-year Hall of Fame career with the Chicago Bears. He won two MVP awards and the 1985 Super Bowl.