Who is Diana Ditka? Get to Know the Wife of Legendary NFL Icon Mike Ditka

Diana Ditka is known for being the wife of NFL legend Mike Ditka – a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, also known as “Iron Mike” due to his tough play as a football player and fiery attitude as a coach

Yet there’s much more to discover about the woman behind this celebrated sports icon who became synonymous with the Chicago Bears franchise.

Quick Facts About Diana Ditka

  • Married Mike Ditka on September 8th, 1961
  • Mother of their four children
  • Met Mike on a blind date while he played for the Eagles
  • Currently resides in Naples, Florida

Diana Ditka’s Biography and Career

Diana Ditka's Biography and Career

Not much is publicly known about Diana Ditka’s early life, as she has kept a relatively low profile despite her husband’s fame. 

She was working as a model when she met Mike Ditka on a blind date that his roommate set up in the early 1960s.

Ditka was playing tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles at the time before being traded to the Bears in 1967. 

Diana and Mike dated for a while and were married at St. Bridget Church in Philadelphia on September 8, 1961. She gave up her modeling career at that point as they started a family together.

How Diana Met Iron Mike on a Blind Date

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Mike Ditka recalled meeting Diana for the first time when his Eagles roommate asked if he wanted to go on a blind double date. 

Ditka said he had no interest unless his date “was as pretty as Marilyn Monroe.” Lo and behold, Diana showed up and captivated Ditka right away with her resemblance to the iconic actress.

I swear she looked like Marilyn Monroe,” Ditka fondly remembered. They instantly hit it off on their first date dancing at a slick nightclub. 

From a stroke of luck on that blind date, their courtship took off and led to that fateful wedding day just several months later.

Highlights From Diana & Mike’s Lengthy Marriage

  • Wed in 1961 after a short courtship
  • Had first child, daughter Megan, in 1962 while Mike was with the Eagles
  • Welcomed son Mike Jr. in 1965
  • Youngest son Matt born in 1969
  • Fourth child, daughter Meredith, arrived in 1976
  • Raised their family in Chicago area during Ditka’s Bears coaching tenure
  • Also have six grandchildren

Mike’s playing career with the Bears and Eagles was just the start of decades more in football as a coach and broadcaster. This meant plenty of moving around for Mike and Diana:

Here’s an overview of the cities they called home:

Year RangeMike Ditka’s RoleCity
1982-1992Head Coach of Chicago BearsChicago metro area
1992-1996Assistant Coach under Tom Flores for LA RaidersLos Angeles area
1997-1999Head Coach of New Orleans SaintsNew Orleans area
2004-PresentNFL broadcaster for ESPNNaples, Florida

No doubt Diana was instrumental in managing their households and maintaining stability for their four children as they followed Mike’s impressive career. 

Through it all, she supported his demanding work across three NFL franchises that culminated with a Super Bowl championship coaching Da Bears in 1985.

Where is Diana Ditka Today?

Where is Diana Ditka Today?

Ever since Mike’s retirement from coaching and taking on broadcasting roles, Diana Ditka has been able to live a lower profile life with him in Naples, Florida for the past 18+ years.

According to reports, Diana spends a lot of her time playing golf these days. She and Mike have also become involved with several children’s charities over the years. 

They run an annual golf event to raise money for everything from cancer research to mentoring programs for kids.

Additionally, the Ditkas founded a children’s foundation in their name that benefits healthcare and education initiatives in the Chicago area where Mike first made his name. 

In 2012, Diana was inducted into the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame along with her husband in honor of their philanthropic work.

When Mike isn’t commentating NFL games as a studio analyst for ESPN, he seems to enjoy hitting the links with Diana as well. 

They have four children and six grandchildren who likely keep them busy during visits too.

No matter where football took Mike Ditka in his long list of accomplishments as a player, coach and broadcaster, Diana has been the constant support by his side throughout it all.

Diana Ditka’s Net Worth

Considering Mike Ditka’s fame and extensive NFL career spanning over 60 years in various roles, he has accumulated significant wealth along the way. His net worth has been estimated between $30 to $50 million.

Diana surely benefits from Mike’s financial success over the years. This likely includes income from his playing days, coaching salaries, product endorsements, speaking engagements, television analyst paychecks and more. 

Their Chicago-area mansion sold for $2.5 million back in 2001. One can assume their Naples residence is equally as luxurious.

In addition to real estate holdings, Diana Ditka’s net worth includes profits earned from Mike’s restaurant – Ditka’s – which has two locations. 

Of course, a significant portion of Mike’s net worth will go to Diana as well per his will.

Between Mike’s lengthy NFL career earnings and wise investments made over the decades, Diana Ditka has certainly amassed millions. 

While not a celebrity in her own right, as the wife of a football icon her net worth is impressive nonetheless thanks to their nearly 63 years of marriage.


Who is Mike Ditka’s wife?

Mike Ditka has been married to his wife Diana Trantham Ditka since 1961. They met on a blind date set up by his roommate when Ditka played for the Philadelphia Eagles as a tight end.

Who played Mrs Ditka in Kicking and Screaming?

The 2005 comedy film Kicking and Screaming had Clint Howard as a character named Mike Ditka. His on-screen wife character was named Cindy Ditka and played by actress Kate Walsh.

Does Mike Ditka have any children?

Yes, Mike Ditka and his wife Diana have four children together – Megan, Mike Jr., Matt and Meredith. They also have six grandchildren.

How many Super Bowl rings does Mike Ditka have?

As a player for the Dallas Cowboys and coach for the 1985 Chicago Bears, Mike Ditka has been a part of two Super Bowl winning teams. So he has two championship rings.

Is Ditka married now?

Yes, Mike Ditka is still married to his wife Diana Ditka. 2023 marked their 62nd wedding anniversary after originally tying the knot back in 1961.

Why is Mike Ditka so popular?

Mike Ditka is considered an icon in football due to his success as a Hall of Fame tight end for the Bears and Cowboys in the 1960s along with later coaching fame, including leading the 1985 Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl victory. 

His flamboyant personality has added to his celebrity over the years. Ditka has also been visible on NFL broadcasts since retirement.


Behind every good man is a great woman, as the old adage goes. This is certainly true in the case of Mike and Diana Ditka after over six decades together. Diana has supported Iron Mike’s illustrious football career while raising their family and making a comfortable life for themselves. She continues to stand by the legendary player and coach as he enjoys retirement. And her own retirement priorities seem to include golf, charity work and time with grandchildren.

While very little about Diana Ditka’s early biography or career is public knowledge, her lasting marriage and contributions to Mike Ditka’s success speaks volumes about her character and values. As the Pro Football Hall of Famer enters his 80s, he must be grateful to have had Diana dutifully supporting him every step of the way since that fateful blind date back in 1961.

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