Chicago Bears Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers passed away on Wednesday. Sayers made his mark as one of the NFL's best all-purpose running backs and was later celebrated for his enduring friendship with a Bears teammate with cancer. Nicknamed "The Kansas Comet," Sayers was considered among the best open-field runners the game has ever seen. Yet it was his rock-steady friendship with Brian Piccolo depicted in the 1971 film "Brian's Song" that marked him as more than a sports star. Sayers died at the age of 77. Relatives indicated that the 5-Time All-Pro was diagnosed with dementia. His wife stated that she partly blamed his football career for his condition. The University of Kansas product was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977 at the age of 34. Professional football players with different racial backgrounds didn't share hotel rooms on the road when the Chicago Bears put Sayers and Piccolo together in 1967. Not surprising, they got off to a rocky start -- not because Sayers was Black and Piccolo was white, or even because they were competing for playing time in the backfield. But they made allowances for each other's personalities, supported each other through injury and illness. Sayers also earned Rookie of the Year honors with the Chicago Bears during his career, and he led the NFL in rushing for two seasons. The University of Kansas product saw his 7 year pro career cut short due a knee injury. After his playing career came to a close, Sayers developed into a highly successful businessman and corporate executive. Sayers also was active in the community working with several charities and youth organizations. Sayers was also a noted National Motivational Speaker and a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.