Willis P. Butler, Sr. (1888-1991) biographical file

Identifier: EBL-0398

  • Staff Only


File includes a curriculum vitae, a 1976 biographical sketch, and two 1991 biographical/obituary articles.


  • 1968 - 1991

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Historical or Biographical Note

Willis P. Butler received his M.D. from Vanderbilt in 1911. He lived to be 103 years old and was for many years the oldest living alumnus of Vanderbilt Medical School. Butler was born in Louisiana in 1888, during Grover Cleveland's first presidential term, when there were only 39 states in the Union. He came to Vanderbilt in 1907 when the hospital was on the first floor of a five-story medical school building in downtown Nashville. While attending the School of Medicine, Butler was class president for two years.

After graduation and a residency in pathology with Dr. William L. Litterer, Jr., head of Tennessee's State Laboratory, Butler pursued a long and distinguished career in forensic pathology. He returned to Shreveport, Louisiana, and was elected medical examiner in 1916. He retired from that post in 1961, and twelve years later, he decided retirement was not for him. He ran again for the office in 1973 and was elected.

Dr. Butler retired for the last time in 1979. He wrote a fascinating autobiography entitled, "Will Somebody Call the Coroner?" A copy of this book is available in the Historical Collection of the Eskind Biomedical Library.


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Willis P. Butler, Sr. (1888-1991) biographical file
Processed by EBL Special Collections Staff
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Description is inEnglish.

Repository Details

Part of the VUMC Historical Images and Biographies Repository

Eskind Biomedical Library
2209 Garland Ave.
Nashville TN 37232


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