4th July 2011
Today marks a year since the death of Dr Robert Butler, champion of social and medical needs for older people, Pulitzer prize winner and President of the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance.
Throughout his career Bob Butler was at the forefront of promoting and researching issues affecting older people. He founded the National Institute on Aging at the American National Institutes of Health, becoming its first Director in 1975. His book, Why Survive? Being Old in America won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1976. He also founded the first department of geriatrics in a US medical school, and helped to found a number of key organisations working on ageing research, geriatric psychiatry and Alzheimer’s disease. Bob Butler is credited with the creation of the modern discipline of gerontology, and coined the term ‘ageism’.
At the International Longevity Centres around the globe, he is remembered as a founding member and pioneer of our Global Alliance, which has now grown to 12 members worldwide. Our international consortium is taking new steps, autonomously and collaboratively, to share knowledge and address the issues which Bob Butler brought to the world stage.
Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of ILC-UK said: “As well as being an outstanding academic, medical specialist, policy analyst and writer, Bob Butler was one of the leading advocates on issues relating to older people, demanding an end to discrimination and prejudice and promoting the economic and social benefits of an ageing society across the world. I also had the privilege of knowing him as one of my best friends – one from whom I always learned so much and who I continue to miss a great deal, as I am certain we all do. His inspiration and guidance will remain with us all as we develop the ILC Global Alliance, something to which Bob was totally committed and which, as its work progresses and produces tangible results to the benefit of older people wherever they live, is, I am sure, the best tribute we can pay to a great man and to keep his memory alive.”
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