Walter Payton (July 25, 1954 - November 1, 1999) was an American football player who held the career record for most yards gained by a running back until 2002 when Emmitt Smith broke his record. Payton played for the Chicago Bears from 1975 to 1987. He was the NFL Player of the Year and National Football League Most Valuable Player in 1977, and again in 1985.
In February 1999 Payton announced that he had a rare liver disease - primary sclerosing cholangitis. Unable to receive a liver transplant because of bile duct cancer, Payton died in his home on November 1, 1999.