Walter Jerry Payton was born on July 25,1954, in Columbia, Mississippi. Walter Payton grew up in Mississippi with his family. He was one of three siblings, two boys and one girl, the children of Peter and Alyne Payton. In his younger years, Payton was never a competitive athlete. Walter liked to do other things like play instruments and be in the school band. He stood supportively in the shadow of his brother Eddie. Walter only participated in one sport during his freshman year of high school, which was track and field. He ended up joining the football team the next year after a coach asked him too.
This opened a big door for Walter Payton’s athletic abilities. He ended up gaining many awards after that for various sports. He branched out and started playing basketball, continued competing in track and field and band and made the allstate football team. This was just the start to Walter Payton’s athletic career. Walter Payton continued to play football for Jackson State University. Walter Payton was one of the top scoring running backs in college during his junior year. Walter Payton played football all the way through college and ended up graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He received many awards while he was at college. He continued to play football and got drafted to the Chicago Bears straight from college. He continued to gain awards as he continued to play football.
Walter Payton was chosen as a graduating college senior from Jackson State University. He was selected as the first choice for the Chicago Bears. By the end of his 1987 season, he held the record for most rushing yardage, including 110 touchdowns. In 1977, Payton led the NFL with the most yards rushed in a single game, with 275 yards against the Minnesota Vikings. In 1997, he received the Most Valuable Player award (MVP) for the season. Shortly after he gained the MVP award, he surpassed Jim Brown’s record of most rushing yards. Many people continued to pass Jim Brown’s record after that but no one could surpass Payton’s total career rushing yards of 16,726. At the age of 23, he was the youngest player to ever gain that award. He played for the Chicago Bears for 13 years. During those 13 years, he gained the nickname “Sweetness”. Then the Chicago Bears also achieved a memorable win in Super Bowl XX, scoring their first NFL championship since 1963.
Walter Payton retired from active play at the age of 33. Football was not Walter Payton’s chosen career. He started to form his job and founded his own company after he retired from the NFL in 1987. He business dealt with tasks such as real estate and traveling. He later on joined on the board of directors for the Chicago Bears. Walter Payton got married on July 7, 1976. He got married to his wife Connie, and had two kids. They decided to name their kids Jarrett and Brittney. Family was his main priority in life. His second priority that took precedence over his business, was being the assistant coach for the Estates High School Basketball Team. He loved basketball and loved to help with children’s programs. He loved helping so much that in 1988, he founded the Walter Payton Foundation for needy children and also co-founded and staffed the Wood and Strings Puppet Theater at Skyway Elementary School. Walter Payton achieved and helped do many astounding deeds in his life. He ended up getting inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986, then later got inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1993. His family was there with his every step of the way and were really supportive, proud, and delighted for him.
Later on in October, Walter Payton went to a physician because he has had severe indigestion and weight loss. He later found out on February 2, 1999, that he had primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a progressive disease of the liver. After that he went and threw the first pitch at a Chicago Clubs game and was effectively his last public appearance. Walter Payton ended up dying at the age of 45 on November 1, 1999 because of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).