John “Bo” Farrington was born in DeWalt, Texas, which is now part of Houston suburb Missouri City. Farrington went to Jack Yates High School in Houston. He attended Prairie View A & M a traditional black school that is the second oldest public institution of higher education in Texas. He played receiver in college and was selected in the 16th round of the 1960 draft by the Chicago Bears. He was a promising 6-foot-3 receiver who had been on the Bears for four seasons from 1959-1963.  He had a 98 yard touchdown reception in 1961 that was tops for the year.  Farrington played with Johnny Morris and Mike Ditka, two of the best receivers in football.

The Bears had won the 1963 NFL Championship.  The team was strong and stocked with great players on both defense and offense.  Halas described the Bears 1963 Championship as his “biggest personal satisfaction.”  Things looked great for the Bears heading into their 1964 season. But tragedy struck.

On July 26, 1964, while the Bears were preparing for the College All-Star Game, teammates Willie Galimore and John Farrington were killed in an automobile accident returning to camp after a day at a local golf course.  The deaths shocked and saddened the Bears.  Farrington who had only been recently married, left a wife. George Halas, otherwise optimistic was compelled to call it the saddest day in Bears’ history. In less than a year, the Bears had gone from being national champion to mourning the loss of two teammates.

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Words in ital. are vocabulary words for students (we also use ital. for book titles)–in this post the vocabulary words are for the 8th grade. Have your kids and grandkids read our posts on Chicago Bears Terms at to help them in school. 

PAPA BEAR AND THE CHICAGO BEARS’ WINNING WAYS reviews the exciting story of George Halas and his dynamic role in professional football for those in middle school and older. Author: Patrick McCaskey. Visit Amazon, Great offer today on this great educational and sports resource for middle grades students!