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A Peek at the Author

Through this media peephole let's take a look at Robert Brown Butler. Whether it be architecture, drawing, photography, typography, inventing, or writing —this modern Renaissance man continually displays a level of artistry that a team of professionals of several disciplines would envy. After graduating from one of America's finest architecture schools, he spent his twenties as a carpenter, his thirties as a builder, his forties as a registered architect, his fifties as an author of five books for McGraw-Hill, and every day along the way he has gained the kind of insight and wisdom that makes grist for good future books. Now having eleven publications under his belt and still counting, he writes in a wittily informative style that will make you feel the author is your best friend, and he especially has an eye for the theoretical that underlies the practical. Indeed he coined the expression, "Function is the nectar of æsthetics." Even today, when his latest books thickly mask his architectural background, a little of that old "Architechnology" (another expression he coined) still shines through. In almost all his books he has penned their drawings, designed their covers, formatted their pages, even created their typefaces —all of which can significantly reduce a publisher’s production costs—and he is the equal of anyone when it comes to publicly reading his writing or presenting their subjects entertainingly. As ocular proof, sit back and see him tell you about his Disaster Handbook, here, or Safe Shelters, here.

  • Personal

Height, Weight … 5'-10", 165 lb.

Spouse … Janis Youngstrum Butler, married Sep 19, 1982

Children … Emily B. Sessa (Professor at University of Florida)

Email …

Websites … …

Present computer Skills … QuarkXpress, Photoshop, Fontographer.

  • Interests

Public speaking … In California and Colorado in my 20s I played the guitar and sang songs I wrote in numerous night clubs and local benefits, including concerts with Joan Baez and John Denver (though I didn't exactly have equal billing). For many years I have lectured on my architecture work, patented inventions, and writing at conferences, tradeshows, civic organizations, and so forth. In 2009 I joined Toastmasters and gave 55 speeches in 9 months and earned their highest public speaking award: Advanced Communicator Gold. I have posted several video lectures of my literary works on YouTube, and I am capable of promoting my publications.

Physical fitness … Since being on two state championship cross-country teams in high school I enjoyed competing in all kinds of road races and track events until an other-than-running injury sidelined me in 2012. Today I still do daily hard workouts at a health club, and for my age I am in excellent health.

Genealogy … I have traced more than 3,000 of my American ancestors going back to earliest colonial America. In 1995, a 30 x 40 inch drawing of my family tree appeared in a national PBS television show on genealogy.

Artist … All my life I have been an artist; I could “draw like a photograph” when I was five years old. In my younger days my drawings, watercolors, and photographs were displayed in local art shows in Georgia, West Virginia, California, and Colorado. Below is a sample of my artwork: a 13 x 20 inch poster titled Laws of Ecology which a few years ago I prepared for a local environmental event, in which I watercolored the border and penned the text. This poster could be published and sold nationwide, similar to the Desiderata poster that was nationally popular in the 1960s.