The Butkus® Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and a private corporation, created to advance health and wellness through special cause marketing initiatives associated with Dick Butkus, Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker.



Considered one of the greatest defensive players in history, Butkus is forever etched into America’s football culture as a man who changed the game through his intensity, determination, and persistence. Forty years after a knee injury ended his career, watching the Butkus highlight reel from NFL Films is still a pregame ritual for hundreds of high school and collegiate programs. Following his illustrious career, Butkus enjoyed success in business, broadcasting and entertainment. This included Dick Butkus’ appearances in more than 200 commercials, movies and TV shows. His entire football career was strongly rooted in the state of Illinois. A native of Chicago, Butkus graduated from Chicago Vocational High School and the University of Illinois. He played his entire professional career for the Chicago Bears, defining the middle linebacker position, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1979. An iconic 1970 Sports Illustrated cover described Butkus as “the most feared man of the game.”Throughout his career, Butkus has placed a high priority on giving back as a way to honor those who made his career possible and to protect the game for generations to come. His lifelong commitment to philanthropy is what underpins The Butkus Foundation. As a USA Today reporter aptly noted, “Butkus is making an even bigger impact off the field than he did on it.”


Dick Butkus’ dedication to health and wellness is apparent in a wide variety of ways. If you’ve asked, “what is the goal of the Dick Butkus foundation?” the answer is simple: to ensure the continuation of the Butkus Foundation initiatives, including:

• The I Play Clean™ program
• The Butkus Center for Cardiovascular Wellness
• The Butkus Award®



We appreciate your interest and desire to give toward The Butkus Foundation initiatives with your donations. All donations are welcomed with every donation over $51.00 being “acknowledged.”

For business, executive, and generous donors, we provide several ways for you to offer your support, including:

• Corporate Partnership
• Executive Partnership
• 51 Founders