Robert Butler virtually created the modern field of geriatrics. He changed the way we view aging and he shaped the National Institute on Aging as its first director. He also looked beyond the medical and scientific aspects of aging by leading discussions around the world on income and community support for older people. He founded the International Longevity Center and made it a place where journalists, policy students, and health professionals could come together and reach a greater understanding of the science, politics, and sociology of aging. He also edited a volume published by The Century Foundation titled Life In An Older America.
We at The Century Foundation were fortunate to work with him in some of these areas. Unfailingly we learned more than we brought to the discussions.
Bob Butler was also a warm and witty human being. He enriched the lives of those around him and his contributions no doubt aided many thousands who were unaware of his existence.
We shall miss him. And, we shall try to keep some of his ideas and ideals alive.
Below is a video from a
discussion with Dr. Robert Butler about his book, The
Longevity Revolution: The Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long
Life at an event hosted
by The Century Foundationand Demos.