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Nick Buoniconti (1940–2019), Dolphins Hall of Fame linebacker

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He was a leading advocate for football safety

Nick Buoniconti was a Hall of Fame middle linebacker for the Miami Dolphins as part of their legendary teams in the 1970s. He was a leader of the Dolphins No-Name defense, winning the Super Bowl in 1972 and 1973. The 1972 Dolphins are the only team to have an undefeated season in the NFL. His pro career began with the Boston Patriots who drafted him from Notre Dame in 1962 and he was traded to the Dolphins in 1969. After playing, he became a player agent, a host on “Inside the NFL,” and a strong advocate for football safety after his son Marc was paralyzed during a game in college. He started the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, which has raised millions of dollars for medical research. He went public with his diagnosis of dementia, which he attributed to CTE from playing football.

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Died: Tuesday, July 30, 2019 (Who else died on July 30?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 78.

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Statement from his son Marc: "Today, with a heavy heart and profound sorrow, my family and the entire Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and Buoniconti Fund community mourn the loss of a man who was truly larger than life, my father, NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti. My dad has been my hero and represents what I have always aspired to be; a leader, a mentor and a champion. He selflessly gave all to football, to his family and to those who are less fortunate. He made a promise to me that turned into a revolution in paralysis research. We can best honor his dedication and endless commitment by continuing with our work until that promise is fulfilled and a cure is found."

What they said about him: “RIP to a football legend, Nick Buoniconti, a great man who did so much good....” —ESPN reporter Adam Schefter

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Irish legend and Super Bowl champion Nick Buoniconti and his loved ones.” —Notre Dame football official on Twitter

Full obituary: Miami Herald

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