Chris Doleman, 1961-2020

Chris Doleman, 1961-2020

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Pro Football Hall of Famer Chris Doleman passed away Tuesday night at the age of 58. He was surrounded by his family and friends.

Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker made the following statement:

“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Chris Doleman after a prolonged and courageous battle against cancer. I had the honor of getting to know him not only as a great football player but an outstanding human being. One of the honors of my life was witnessing Chris get baptized in the Jordan River during a Hall of Fame trip to Israel. The legacy of Chris Doleman will live forever in Canton, Ohio for generations to learn from how he lived a life of courage and character.”

Doleman, who was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012, was one of the greatest pass rushers in National Football League history during his 15-season career with the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons.

The Vikings drafted him as a linebacker in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft. He was moved to defensive end by his second season and quickly established himself as one of the game’s greatest pass rushers. He led his team in sacks eight times and racked up 21 sacks, one shy of the NFL’s single-season record, in 1989.

In all, he amassed 150.5 sacks which ranked fourth all-time at the time of his retirement. Doleman registered double-digit sack totals eight times in his career.

Doleman was extremely durable as evidenced by him missing a mere two games due to injury during his 232-game NFL career. In all, he was named to eight Pro Bowls, six with the Vikings and once each as a member of the Falcons and the 49ers. He was named first-team All-Pro in 1987, 1989, and 1992 and first-team All-NFC four times. Doleman is a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s.

Christopher John Doleman was born on October 16, 1961, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Hall of Fame flags on the Hall’s campus in Canton, Ohio will be flown at half-staff in Doleman’s memory.


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