Paul Butler (polo)

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Paul Butler (1892–1981) was an American heir, businessman and polo player.[1][2][3][4]


Early life[edit]

Paul Butler was born on June 23, 1892 in Chicago, Illinois.[2] He is a descendant of the Butler family of Ireland, headed by the Duke of Ormond.[3] In 1654, his ancestor William Butler fled the British Isles because of Oliver Cromwell and settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts.[3] His grandfather, Julius Butler, was the founder of the Butler Paper Company in Chicago in 1841.[2][4] He also had a brother named Julius.[2] He graduated from the University of Illinois.[2] He served as a Lieutenant during the First World War.[2]


He served as President of his family business, the Butler Paper Company, from 1930 to 1965.[2] By then, the company had diversified in paper, real estate and development.[2] From 1960 to 1965, he served as President of the Nekoosa-Edwards Paper Company.[2] He was a founder of Oak Brook, Illinois, including the Bank of Oak Brook and the Oak Brook Public Utilities Company.[2] He also founded the Butler National Golf Club.[2] In 1945, he founded the Butler Aviation Corporation, the largest aviation company in the United States.[2]

He was a member of the General Society of Colonial Wars, the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Art Institute and the Chicago Museum of Natural History.[2]


He won six U.S. Open Polo Championships and four Butler Handicap titles.[1]

On October 31, 1924, he chartered the Oak Brook Polo Club with Gene Gordon Culver and J. W. Butler.[5] By December 19, 1924, it was affiliated with the United States Polo Association (USPA).[5] He served on the Board of Governors of the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club.[2] He also served for the USPA.[1] He was a member of the Meadowbrook Polo Club.[2]

He was inducted in the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame on March 3, 1995.[1]

Personal life[edit]

He was married three times, to Sarah Anne Rooney, Marjorie von Stresenreuter (later Mrs William Dunaway) and Jean Buckley.[2] His sons were Norman Frank Butler, a polo player too[2] and Michael Butler, a theatrical producer and businessman, and Frank Osgood Butler II.[2][4] He also had a daughter, Jorie Butler Kent.


  1. ^ a b c d Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame, Paul Butler's biography
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Alex Webbe, Paul Butler Was a Pioneer of Polo, Palm Beach Daily News, June 28, 1981
  3. ^ a b c Bess Winakor, The Butlers: Old Family Traces Roots From Colonies to PB Polo, Palm Beach Daily News, January 2, 1983
  4. ^ a b c Bruce Buursma, Michael Butler: From Polo Field To Chapter 11, The Chicago Tribune, September 26, 1990
  5. ^ a b Horace Laffaye, Polo in the United States: A History, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2011, p. 93