Last Updated on October 6, 2023, 7:55 am
Dick Butkus, a Hall of Fame decorated Chicago Bears Linebacker, died at 80.
Famous Chicago Bears football player and actor Dick Butkus died peacefully. Dick Butkus’ net worth was estimated at $ 10 million.
Dick Butkus, a famous Chicago Bears football player and notable actor, passed away on Thursday, October 5, 2023, in his house in Malibu, California He was 80 years old. He was a Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker for the Chicago Bears.
Who was Dick Butkus?
Butkus was an American football player and an actor. He was born on December 9, 1942, to a Lithuanian immigrant, Ellis Islan and Emma, in Chicago. He was the youngest of eight children. His father was an electrician and worked for a railroad car manufacturing company, and his mother worked 50 hours a week at a Laundromat.
He grew up in the Roseland neighborhood on the South side of Chicago. At age 15, Butkus worked as a mover with his four brothers for four years. Butkus came from humble beginning. He learned to work hard and plant dedication to achieve greatness early on.
He poured tireless efforts and fierce determination into his career and soon gained success. Belonging to a blue-collar family and humble beginning, Butkus rose to fame and garnered success in both football and as an actor.
Early education and career
Butkus studied at the University of Illinois and played on the varsity team, Illinois Fighting Illini Football, as center and linebacker from 1962 through 1964. He was named to the 1962 All-Big Ten Conference football team.
His talent and hard work advanced his team on the path to success. In 1963 Illinois compiled an 8-1-1 record and defeated Washington in the 1964 Rose Bowl. He was announced as the team’s most valuable player and was awarded the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Big Ten’s most valuable player.
In 1964, he was unanimously named All-American. He played both sides of the ball as a center on offense and linebacker on defense. He was a top competitor for the
Heisman Trophy. He finished sixth in 1963 and third in 1964. He was the highest defensive vote-getter around that time.
In 1965, Butkus was selected into the National Football League by his home team, Chicago Bears. He wore a ‘number 51′ jersey, which the Bears retired in his honor in 1994. Butkus recorded eleven solo tackles in his first game.
He intercepted five passes and recovered six opponent fumbles. He was also unofficially credited with having forced six fumbles. He was a top competitor for NFL Rookie of the Year honors, but Gale Sayers bested him. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Week by AP four times in his career.
He was forced into retirement after a knee injury at 31 in 1973. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, his first eligible year. He was consecrated in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
He was named to the NFL’ All-Decade Teams, selected by the Hall of Fame Committee for both decades he played, and was voted to the NFL’s 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time Teams. According to ESPN, his career ended with 1,020 tackles and 22 interceptions.
After his football career ended, he began his long second career as a sports broadcaster and actor who starred in many notable movies and TV series for over 15 years. He worked on projects like ‘The Longest Yard’ in 1974, the TV series ‘My Two Dads,’ ‘Hang Time,’ ‘MacGyver,’ ‘Chicago Sons,’ and many more. He was also a radio analyst for the Bears in 1985 and replaced Jimmy ‘The Greek Snyder on CBS’ with the NFL Today Program show in 1988.
Dick Butkus’ Net Worth
According to “Net Worth Club,” Chicago Bears iconic football player was estimated to have a net worth of $18 million in October 2023, at the time of his death. He earned his net worth from his decorated career in the NFL, sports commentary jobs, and successful acting career of over fifteen years. His first-ever contract was worth $200,000. His retirement came with four years remaining on a five-year contract with Chicago Bears, which entailed paying him $115,000 annually and medical and hospital care, which they neglected. He filed a lawsuit against the team’s doctors, whose neglect left him unable to play anymore. The lawsuit was settled, and they paid him the full value of his contract. His estimated net worth at the time of his death was $18 million.
Philanthropy work and Butkus Award
Butkus inaugurated the Butkus Foundation and established a cardiovascular wellness program at a Southern California Hospital that encourages early detection of heart disease through screenings and tests.
He also instituted the Butkus Award in 1985, given to top professional, College, and High School linebackers. He also initiated The I Play Clean Campaign, spreading awareness and encouraging High School athletes to train, eat well, and refrain from using illegal performance-enhancing substances.
What happened to Butkus?
According to a statement released by Chicago Bears, his family confirmed that he died at night at his house in Malibu, California. He was 80 years old.
A moment of silence was held in his honor before the Bears played at the Washington Commanders on Thursday night.
He is survived by his wife, Helen, their three children, Ricky, Matt, Nikki, and nephew Luke Butkus.
TributesKavin Gallagher wrote,
“RIP Dick Butkus, #Bears legend
One of the most feared players in NFL history.”
His Team, the Chicago Bears, wrote,
“Dick Butkus was a legend who embodied what it means to be a Chicago Bear Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”
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