by Richard Dent with Fred Mitchell
Richard Dent made quite a name for himself in the National Football League after toiling in relative obscurity at tiny Tennessee State University. The Chicago Bears drafted the then tall and skinny Dent in the eighth round of the 1983 draft. He would grow to 6-5, 265, and go on to become the storied franchise’s all-time leader in quarterback sacks.
In 1985, Dent led the NFL with 17 quarterback sacks and the Bears went on to wallop the New England Patriots 46-10 as he was named the Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl XX.
That vaunted Bears unit led by defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan also included Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, Steve McMichael, William “Refrigerator” Perry, Otis Wilson, Wilber Marshall, Dave Duerson, Gary Fencik, Mike Richardson and Leslie Frazier.
Dent later joined the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent in 1994. He returned to the Bears in 1995 before joining the Indianapolis Colts the next season. Dent retired after spending the 1997 season with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Dent had 141 quarterback sacks in 203 career games, including 151 starts.He also intercepted 8 passes, returning them for 89 yards and 1 touchdown, and he recovered 13 fumbles.In 1990, he returned a fumble for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Since retiring from pro football, Dent has been very active in the Chicago community. Dent is a 2011 inductee into the Pro Football hall of Fame.
Since joining the Chicago Tribune in 1974, Fred Mitchell has covered the Chicago Cubs, Bulls and Bears beats, and now co-authors the Around Town column with David Kaplan. For the past 16 years, he has been tabbed by the Baseball Writers Association of America to vote for the Hall of Fame.
Mitchell has written 10 books, including biographies with Bears Hall of Fame halfback Gale Sayers and Cubs Hall of Famers Billy Williams and Ryne Sandberg. Mitchell also wrote Playing Through with Earl Woods, the late father of Tiger Woods, and Then Ditka Said To Payton with former Bears lineman Dan Jiggetts. Mitchell received the "Jim Murray Award" as the outstanding sportswriter in 2000 from the American Football Foundation. In 2010, Mitchell was honored with the Bill Gleason Outstanding Sportswriter of the Year Award from the Pitch & Hit Club, and the Irv Kupcinet Media Award during the annual Giant Awards ceremony sponsored by the Ed Kelly Sports Programs, Inc. He also was inducted into the Chicago Public League Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Mitchell, who has been involved in numerous civic activities, lives in Chicago with his wife, Kim, and son, Cameron.