Concept

Richard Butler (white supremacist)

Summary
Richard Girnt Butler (February 23, 1918 – September 8, 2004) was an American engineer and white supremacist. After dedicating himself to the Christian Identity movement, a racialist offshoot of British Israelism, Butler founded the neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations and would become the "spiritual godfather" to the white supremacist movement, in which he was "a leading figure". He has been described as a "notorious racist". Butler was born in Bennett, Colorado, the only child to Winifred Girnt and Clarence Butler. His father was of English ancestry, while his mother was of German-English ancestry. He was raised in Los Angeles, California beginning in 1931, and after graduating from high school in 1938, he became an aeronautical engineering major at Los Angeles City College. He was a co-inventor of the rapid repair of tubeless tires. Butler was a member of the Silver Shirts, an American fascist organization modeled on the Nazi Brownshirts, which was active until its suppression following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. While he was a member of a Presbyterian church, he married Betty Litch in 1941, with whom he fathered two daughters. Litch died on December 1, 1995. After Pearl Harbor, Butler enlisted in the Army Air Corps where he served stateside for the duration of World War II. In 1946, Butler organized and operated a machine plant for the production and precision machining of automotive parts and engine assemblies for commercial and military aircraft in the United States, Africa, and India. Butler was a marketing analyst for new inventions from 1964 to 1973. He later became a senior manufacturing engineer for Lockheed Martin in Palmdale, California. In the 1960s, Butler lived in Whittier, California. He collaborated with William Potter Gale and Wesley Swift in the California Committee to Combat Communism. The three men later founded the Christian Defense League in 1964. Butler served as the organization's executive director and ran the organization out of his Whittier home.
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