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Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.
Owen Butler was born in Lynchburg, Va., and has been a part of the Greater Cincinnati community since 1957.
After joining the Procter & Gamble Co. as a salesman in 1945, Butler held a number of positions of increasing responsibility in sales management before he became sales manager of Procter & Gamble’s U.S. soap and detergent business in 1960. In 1968 he rose to vice president of sales for the entire corporation. He joined the board of directors in 1972 and was named executive vice president in 1973, supervising Procter & Gamble’s operating staff departments. He was named vice-chairman in 1974 and chairman in 1981. One of his most visible achievements during his five-year tenure was construction of the company’s 800,000-square-foot, twin-towered headquarters building in downtown Cincinnati.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, Butler placed a high priority on education since childhood. Beginning in 1982, he chaired both the design committee and the full subcommittee of the Committee for Economic Development. In its 1985 report, “Investing in Our Children: Business and the Public Schools,” the CED made well-publicized recommendations for making students employable. The CED’s second policy statement, “Children in Need: Investment Strategies for the Educationally Disadvantaged,” calls for a national campaign of early and sustained involvement in the lives of disadvantaged children.
Butler served as senior advisor for Daiwa Securities America, Inc., and as chairman of the Cincinnati Branch Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He was a director of Northern Telecom, Ltd., Hospital Corporation of America, Deere & Co. and EQUICOR-Equitable HCA Corp.
Butler died April 21, 1998 at his home in Denver.
Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization