Joe Fortunato (American football)

Joe Fortunato
No. 31
Date of birth (1930-03-28) March 28, 1930
Place of birth Mingo Junction, Ohio
Career information
Position(s) Linebacker
College Virginia Military Institute
Mississippi State
NFL draft 1952 / Round: 7 / Pick 80
Career history
As player
1955–1966 Chicago Bears
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls 5
Career stats
Games played 155
Interceptions 16
Fumble recoveries 22
Touchdowns 2

Joseph Francis Fortunato (born March 28, 1930) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League.

Fortunato played 12 seasons for the Chicago Bears (1955–1966). As a linebacker, he made the Pro Bowl five times,[1] and was named to the NFL 300 Greatest Players team. He wore #31 with the Chicago Bears. Fortunato played fullback and linebacker for Mississippi State University, and made All-American in 1951. He is a member of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Fortunato makes his home in south Mississippi.

He spent two seasons as a coach with the Chicago Bears; 1967 as linebackers coach and 1968 as defensive coordinator.


  1. Freedman, Lew (2008). Chicago Bears: The Complete Illustrated History. MVP Books. p. 81. ISBN 9780760332313. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
Preceded by
Jim Dooley
Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinators
Succeeded by
Jimmy Carr

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