Pro Football Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti -- who famously launched a charity to cure paralysis -- has died after a struggle with dementia. He was 78.
Buoniconti was a stud linebacker at Notre Dame who was drafted by the Boston Patriots of the AFL in 1962 ... but went on to become a superstar for the Miami Dolphins from 1969 to 1976.
During his career, Buoniconti racked up 2 Super Bowl rings, made 2 Pro Bowls and was a 6-time AFL All Star. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Buoniconti believed he suffered from CTE due to his football career and in 2017 he announced that he would donate his brain for research purposes after his death.
During an interview, Buoniconti once said of his condition, "I’m positive that football caused this ... I always loved [the game]. I still do. But I’m paying the price."
Nick famously launched The Buoniconti Fund after his son, Marc, became paralyzed during a college football game in 1985. The Fund helped launch the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, which has become one of the global leaders in neurological research.
Nick and Marc were famously featured on an episode of HBO's "Real Sports."
Nick also hosted "Inside the NFL" from 1980 until 2001.
And get this, while playing for the Patriots, Nick earned his law degree and became a sports agent who represented a bunch of MLB players ... including Andre Dawson.
Yankees legendary owner George Steinbrenner once said Nick was the toughest negotiator he ever faced.
Long story short, Nick lived a pretty amazing life and will be missed.