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Dr Robert N. Butler

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Dr Robert N. Butler

Birth
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 4 Jul 2010 (aged 83)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Plot Section: L Lot: N Grave: 73
Memorial ID 54631470 View Source
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Medical Pioneer, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author. A psychiatrist, he essentially founded the specialty of gerontology, and in the process changed the way older individuals are viewed by society and the medical profession. Raised by his grandparents in Vineland, New Jersey, he would often point to twin influences on his life: his respect for his grandfather, and his regard for a man he identified as "Dr. Rose", who treated him for scarlet fever and who often let the young Butler accompany him on rounds. Following his grandfather's death, he sold newspapers to help himself and his grandmother survive Depression-era poverty. Butler spent time with the US Maritime Service prior to entering Columbia University from which he received his undergraduate degree in 1949 and his MD in 1953. While in medical school he was disturbed by the disrespect shown by physicians toward older patients, and he would later coin the term "ageism" to denounce that attitude. Following his residency at the University of California, San Francisco, he joined the National Institute of Mental Health, where he set about learning all he could about the aging process. In 1975 Dr. Butler became founding director of the National Institute on Aging, and that same year published his Pulitzer Prize-winning classic work "Why Survive? Being Old in America". The next year, he and his wife co-authored "Sex After Sixty". He was to continue research, teaching, and writing for the rest of his life, in the process giving guidance to numerous organizations concerned with the plight of the elderly. Shortly before his death from lukemia (he had continued working until three days earlier), Dr. Butler published his final book, "The Longevity Revolution". When asked how his work had affected his outlook, he said: "I feel less threatened by the end of life than I perhaps did when I was 35".

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 7 Jul 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 54631470
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/54631470/robert-n.-butler : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Robert N. Butler (21 Jan 1927–4 Jul 2010), Find a Grave Memorial ID 54631470, citing Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave , Ashes given to family or friend.