West Chester native Smedley Butler, who was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history at the time of his death in 1940, was also an esteemed writer and anti-war advocate, writes Celine Butler for The Quad.
Butler enlisted as a teenager to fight in the Spanish-American War against the wishes of his pacifist family. Over the years, he rose to the rank of USMC Major General, the highest rank at the time.
Throughout his career, Butler was awarded 16 medals, five of them for heroism. He’s one of only 19 people to receive the Medal of Honor twice.
Despite his successes in the military, Butler dedicated his later years to writing and activism. He also became known for exposing a supposed political conspiracy – entitled the “Business Plot” – in 1934 that was designed to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt.
Butler was ridiculed at the time for his testimony before the McCormack-Dickstein Committee. He stated that he was solicited by a group of wealthy businessmen who wanted to overthrow Roosevelt. But his statements were later confirmed by a special House of Representatives committee.
Read more about Smedley Butler in The Quad here.