Bears owner Virginia McCaskey celebrates 101st birthday

Bears owner Virginia McCaskey celebrates 101st birthday originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Virginia McCaskey, owner of the Chicago Bears and matriarch of the NFL, turned 101 years old on Friday.

McCaskey is the longest-tenured NFL owner. Sunday’s season finale against the Packers will wrap up her 41st season as the owner of the team.

Born in 1923, McCaskey was raised in the premier football family, as her father George Halas both founded the Bears and the NFL. Halas was a player, coach and owner for the Bears and ran the team from its inception until his death in 1983. McCaskey has been the principal owner ever since, although her son Michael took over as team chairman in 1999, then another son George took the helm in 2011.

In the 41 years that McCaskey has owned the team, the Bears have earned 14 postseason bids, won 11 division titles, and made two Super Bowl appearances. Thirty Bears have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during McCaskey's time, with Devin Hester and Steve McMichael, both 2024 finalists, having a chance to be Nos. 31 and 32. The team would love to add another Super Bowl trophy to that count, though.

“Everybody wants to win one for her and we’re doing everything we can to make that happen,” George McCaskey said after the team fired general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy. “At one point in our conversations, I asked her for her assessment of our season, and she said, as only a mother can, ‘I’m very, very disappointed.’”

McCaskey still remains engaged with the team and it’s well-known how much joy she feels with every win, and the sorrow she feels with every loss.

“She’s the guiding force behind everything we do here, and everybody knows that, including the guys in the locker room,” said George McCaskey in a statement on her 100th birthday.

It’s also well-known how much a win against the team up north means, so a victory this Sunday at Lambeau could be the best belated 101st birthday gift.

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