Cause of Death Released for College Football Great, 55

darren lewis cause of death

Getty The cause of death for Darren Lewis was released.

Former Chicago Bears star Darren Lewis has died at the age of 55, according to a statement from Texas A&M, where he was a two-time All-American running back.

The cause of death was cancer, the university wrote. USA Today reported that Lewis, who was imprisoned for armed robbery, was released after it was discovered he was suffering from “Stage 4A metastatic squamous cell carcinoma.”

“Remembering our all-time leading rusher, All-American Darren Lewis,” Texas A&M Football wrote on X on June 21, sharing news of Lewis’s death. Sports Illustrated called Lewis “one of their greatest players of all time,” referring to the university.

Lewis “was drafted in the sixth round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears and played three seasons with the Bears,” after many accolades as a college football player, the university wrote.

Darren Lewis Was Considered 1 of the ‘Top Prep Running Backs in the Country’ During His Early Years, the University Says

According to Texas A&M, Lewis “was born Nov. 7, 1968, in Dallas” and attended Carter High School in Dallas, Texas.

He was considered “one of the top prep running backs in the country along with Randy Simmons and Emmitt Smith. Aggie head coach Jackie Sherrill signed Lewis and Simmons,” the university wrote, adding that he was nicknamed “Tank,” and has been inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame, an honor he earned in 1998.

According to USA Today, Lewis was “best known for breaking Eric Dickerson’s Southwest Conference rushing record.”

However, his life was filled with struggles.

According to USA Today, drugs harmed Lewis’s potential on the football field. He tested “positive for cocaine at the NFL scouting combine” and ended up being selected by the Bears in the 6th round of the 1991 draft, USA Today reported, due to concerns about the test.

USA Today reported Lewis’s addiction struggles continued and eventually led to multiple arrests and imprisonment “on robbery charges” in 2010. He ended up back in prison four years later after additional armed robbery accusations, the newspaper reported, adding that he was freed from prison for cancer care and ended up in a hospice.

The Obituary for Darren Lewis Says He Was an ‘Exceptional Athlete’ & ‘Beloved Jokester’

darren lewis

GettyRunning back Darren Lewis of the Chicago Bears prepares to catch a pass during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.

Lewis’s obituary on the page of the Golden Gate Funeral Home says that he died on June 21, 2024.

“Throughout his life, Darren was not only an exceptional athlete but also a beloved jokester and the life of the party. His kind and giving nature touched the lives of many, and his unwavering love for God was evident,” the obituary says.

His “greatest treasures” were his family, including his wife and kids, the obituary says.

“In his career on the football field, Darren will be remembered for his skill, dedication, and sportsmanship. Off the field, he leaves behind a legacy of love, generosity, and laughter that will be cherished by all who were fortunate enough to know him,” it notes.