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Happy Birthday To North Salem's Dick Button

Dick Button commentating at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Button turns 87 today.
Dick Button commentating at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Button turns 87 today. Photo Credit: Donna Christopher

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Happy birthday to North Salem's Dick Button!

North Salem resident, Olympic figure skater and long-time skating television analyst Richard Totten "Dick" Button was born July 18, 1929 in Engelwood, N.J.

He is a twice Olympic Champion (1948 and 1952) and five time World Champion (1948-52), and the only non-European man to become European Champion.

Button is credited with having been the first skater to successfully land the double axel jump in competition in 1948 and the first triple jump (of any kind), a triple loop, in 1952.

He also invented the flying camel spin, originally known as the "Button camel."

Button graduated from Harvard University in 1952. He received a JD degree from Harvard Law School in 1956.

As an actor, Button performed in such films as "The Young Doctors" and "The Bad News Bears Go to Japan" starring Tony Curtis. He appeared in television roles, including "Hans Brinker" and "Mr. Broadway."

Button provided commentary for CBS's broadcast of the 1960 Winter Olympics, launching a decades-long career in broadcast television. He won an Emmy Award in 1981 for Outstanding Sports Personality – Analyst.

During the 2006 Olympic Games, Button, on loan to ABC, provided commentary. Also in the 2006 Winter Olympics, USA Network ran a show called "Olympic Ice." A recurring segment, called "Push Dick's Button," invited viewers to send in questions that Button answered on the air.

In 2009, Button served as a judge on the Canadian network CBC's "Battle of the Blades" reality show. He again appeared on NBC to do commentary for 2010 Olympics and in late 2010, he was lead judge on BBC's "Skating with the Stars."

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