In Memoriam: Herb Butler (1927 – 2008)

Today, Georgia Democrats are mourning the passing of James Herbert “Herb” Butler, a long-time leader in both Democratic Party politics and the Georgia labor community.

Herb Butler, a Cobb County resident, was an active member of the United Auto Workers serving as the Atlanta-area director for 21 years from 1969 to 1990. In addition, Butler served on the Advisory Council for the Georgia Department of Labor for over 35 years and was also a member of the State Board of Natural Resources.

An active Democrat, Herb Butler served on the state Democratic Committee from Cobb County and also represented Georgia at the 2000 and 2004 Democratic National Conventions. I believe (and someone please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) that Herb was also a member of the Democratic National Committee.

In 2000, the Georgia House of Representatives honored Herb Butler with a resolution (H.R.1132) recognizing and commending him for “his dedicated service to the UAW and to the citizens of Georgia.” In 2002, the Georgia state AFL-CIO awarded him the Herbert H. Mabry Lifetime Achievement Award.

In a 1996 interview, Herb Butler described his more than half-century of work within the labor community as follows:

“I have got a great deal of satisfaction from [being in a union],” Butler said. “And my family has been able to live…decently…because of the union activities…and the benefits that we’ve been able to have by being a union member.”

Herb Butler was born November 4, 1927 in Silver Grove, Kentucky.

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