The Bears have won nine league championships (eight NFL Championships and Super Bowl XX), second most all-time behind the Green Bay Packers. The franchise has also recorded more victories then any other NFL franchise with 700, retired the most uniform numbers with 14, and have the most members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with 30.
The club was founded in Decatur, Illinois, in 1919 as the Decatur Staleys, then later moved to Chicago in 1921 to become the Bears. Along with the Arizona Cardinals (originally from Chicago), the Bears are one of only two remaining franchises from the NFL's founding in 1920. The team played home games at Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side through the 1970 season. With the exception of the 2002 season, they have played their home games at Chicago's Soldier Field every year since 1971. The stadium is located next to Lake Michigan, and was recently remodeled in a modernization intended to update stadium amenities while preserving a historic Chicago structure.
The Bears have a storied, long-standing rivalry with the Packers, which began in 1921 and is the league's longest rivalry, with over 200 regular-season and post-season games. Green Bay took the series lead in 2017.
Originally named the Decatur Staleys, the club was established and named after the A. E. Staley food starch company of Decatur, Illinois in 1919 as a company team. The company hired George Halas and Edward "Dutch" Sternaman in 1920 to run the team, and turned over full control of the team to them in 1921. Official team and league records cite Halas as the founder as he took over the team in 1920 when it became a charter member of the National Football League (NFL).
The Staleys relocated to Chicago in 1921, where the club was renamed the Chicago Staleys, which Staley paid to keep the name Staleys for another year. In the 1921 season, the Chicago Staleys finished first in the league and captured their first league championship.
In 1922, under an agreement reached by Halas and Sternaman with Staley, Halas purchased the rights to the club from Staley for $100, whereupon they were renamed the Chicago Bears. Halas changed the team name to the Bears to reflect a nickname similar to baseball's Chicago Cubs, the team's host at Wrigley Field.
1985 is the most celebrated year in Bears history. Famously known for the "Super Bowl Shuffle" commercial, the Bears outscored opponents 456 to 198 during the regular season, finishing 15–1. The "Monsters of the Midway" defense was what really set the team apart, as the Bears shutout the New York Giants 21–0, then shut out the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game, 24–0.
In Super Bowl XX, the Bears dismantled the New England Patriots to claim their first NFL championship since 1963, winning 46–10. Chicago's defense tallied seven sacks and stopped New England for 123 total yards. After the Patriots led 3–0, the Bears scored 44 unanswered points finished off by a William "The Refrigerator" Perry rushing touchdown. Richard Dent was named the Super Bowl MVP for securing 1.5 sacks and for shutting down the Patriots' run game, only allowing 7 rush yards.
The Bears have a storied, long-standing rivalry with the Packers, which began in 1921 and is the league's longest rivalry, with 182 regular-season and post-season games. Chicago currently leads the all-time series, 92–84–6.