Was Dick Butkus Married? Who Was Dick Butkus?

by Moore Martin

Was Dick Butkus Married

Dick Butkus, the legendary American football player, was indeed married. His lifelong partner was Helen Essenberg. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of their enduring union and explore some facets of Dick Butkus’s life beyond the football field.

Full Name Richard Marvin Butkus
Date of Birth December 9, 1942
Place of Birth Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Date of Passing October 5, 2023
Place of Passing Malibu, California, U.S.
Height 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 meters)
Weight 245 pounds (111 kilograms)

Who Was Dick Butkus?

Dick Butkus, born on December 9, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, was a prominent figure in American football history. He made a significant impact as a linebacker during his illustrious career, primarily with the Chicago Bears in the NFL from 1965 to 1973. Known for his intense and hard-hitting style of play, Butkus earned accolades such as eight Pro Bowl selections and two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards. His reputation as one of the most feared tacklers of all time still stands today.

Beyond football, Dick Butkus extended his influence into acting, sports commentary, and charitable activities through the Butkus Foundation, leaving a lasting legacy in the sports world.

Dick Butkus and Helen Essenberg’s Marriage

Dick Butkus and Helen Essenberg’s journey as a couple began in 1963 when they were both students at the University of Illinois. Their relationship had its roots in high school, gradually developing into a deep and lasting bond. Helen, unlike her famous husband, chose to lead a private life away from the public eye, focusing on her role as a devoted wife and mother.

Their union of 60 years was blessed with three children: two sons named Ricky and Matt, and a daughter named Nikki. While Dick Butkus’s NFL career with the Chicago Bears took center stage, Helen played a vital role behind the scenes, providing unwavering support to her husband and nurturing their family.

Dick Butkus Siblings

Dick Butkus was the youngest of seven children in his family, growing up in a modest house in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood. Unfortunately, there isn’t much public information available about the personal lives of his siblings, as they preferred to maintain a private existence away from the spotlight. While Dick Butkus gained widespread recognition for his football prowess, his siblings remained relatively unknown to the public.

Dick Butkus’s College Years

For his college education, Dick Butkus attended the University of Illinois, where he showcased his football talents while playing for the Illinois Fighting Illini. His college football career was nothing short of remarkable, earning him the title of a consensus All-American and the prestigious Chicago Tribune Silver Football award as the Big Ten’s most valuable player. These accomplishments paved the way for his successful transition to the NFL, where he etched his name as one of football’s most iconic linebackers.

Dick Butkus Age

Dick Butkus’s life journey concluded at the age of 80. He passed away on October 5, 2023, in his home in Malibu, California. Throughout his life, he was celebrated as one of the greatest NFL linebackers in history, thanks to his fierce playing style and numerous accomplishments on the football field. His impact on the sport of football, both during his playing career and afterward, was immense, making him an enduring icon in the world of sports.


1. Was Dick Butkus Married?

Yes, Dick Butkus was married to Helen Essenberg for 60 years until his passing.

2. Who was Dick Butkus?

Dick Butkus was a legendary American football linebacker known for his fierce playing style and is considered one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history.

3. Did Dick Butkus have any siblings?

Yes, Dick Butkus had six siblings, making him the youngest of seven children in his family.

4. Which college did Dick Butkus attend?

Dick Butkus attended the University of Illinois, where he played college football for the Illinois Fighting Illini and earned numerous accolades.

5. Did Dick Butkus have children?

Yes, Dick Butkus and his wife Helen had three children: two sons named Ricky and Matt, and a daughter named Nikki.

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