Floyd Butler was invited to the Chicago Bears training camp in the 1960s. After his football career ended, Butler became a public school teacher in Chicago.
His body was discovered about 1 a.m. on Monday in his home in the 7300-block of South Merrill.
Detectives say they have no one in custody and have not made an arrest in the murder of Floyd Butler.
The coroner's autopsy shows Butler died of a shotgun bullet to the head. Friends and family wonder who would want to hurt.
The former teacher and professional athlete was found murdered early Monday morning.
"He was a super guy. There was nothing that Floyd would not do for you," said Harold Hall, family friend.
Investigators say relatives found Butler's body in his South Side home that he shared with his son Lester. Relatives say the victim's son and another family member knew something was wrong when they returned to the residence and found a backdoor kicked in.
"They found him lying there," said James Dove, victim's nephew.
Police say Butler was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head. Detectives have not confirmed that damage to a basement door is connected to the murder.
In the meantime, Butler is being remembered as a man of principle whose dedication shined during his days as both a running back and wide receiver at a 1967 Chicago Bears football training camp.
"He played with Gale Sayers, Brian piccolo. We had a great team and played with dick Butkis," said Major Hazelton, victim's friend and former teammate.
Friends say Floyd Butler not only loved football but also was truly interested in helping children reach their potential. He first shaped young minds most recently as a teacher at Simeon Career Academy before leaving in October of 2003 and by founding the Young Urban Preservation Society, a community organization charged with helping support African-American students.
"It's a giant that we've lost in the African-American community. We had more people like Floyd who had just a bit of time like the giant but always kept connections to the community. If we had more like him we'd be better off today," said Hazelton.
As for his dedication to children, the Chicago Public Schools says that he was a full-time teacher at various schools since 1982.
Police are not saying if they recovered a weapon at the scene and are still investigating.