Carol Butler, president and CEO of Butler Books, continues to publish books so she can keep her husband’s legacy alive.
“My husband Bill and I founded Butler Books in 1989,” says Carol, 70. “When Bill died of cancer in 2009, it was very important to me and to our sons that we keep our family business going in his memory and honor. Both of our sons have worked for Butler Books, and our son Billy helps me run the company now.
“Over the last 32 years, we have been honored to help hundreds of local authors and organizations publish books. Many of those books capture and preserve the history of our community and will hopefully stay on shelves for hundreds of years.
“Nothing is more satisfying than acting as a ‘midwife’ for people giving birth to wonderful books,” she says.
Carol’s company and many of its books have won national awards. Her bestsellers are on bookshelves and coffee tables throughout the region: Actors Theatre of Louisville: Fifty Years; 65 Years: making.moving.art, to commemorate the 65th anniversary of The Louisville Ballet; Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History by Mervin Aubespin, Kenneth Clay, and J. Blaine Hudson; The Kentucky Derby Festival: 50 Years of Fun; The Great Flood of 1937 by historian Rick Bell; The Big Bat by Anne Jewell and the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory; and All Aboard! The Belle of Louisville by Marie Bradby and illustrated by Annette Cable.
“The anniversary books are very important to me. That’s what gets me up every day, having a role in documenting the history of Louisville, preserving the legacy of a lot of Louisville’s organizations. There are more books to be done. People call all the time and say their organization is going to have an anniversary. That is what motivates me and the reason why I don’t want to retire. I’m still healthy, and this is what I want to do. I will keep doing it as long as I am able to do it.
“I can’t imagine retiring anytime soon from our family business,” Carol says. “I love what I do, and I love staying active, and doing purposeful work.
“What is inscribed on Bill’s grave at Cave Hill Cemetery is: ‘Littera scripta manet.’ ‘The written word endures.’
“As long as our phone keeps ringing and I am able to stay healthy, I plan to continue to run Butler Books. It’s our family’s legacy, and an important gift and service we can offer authors and organizations in the Louisville community.”
By Marie Bradby | Photos by Melissa Donald
P.S. Looking for day trip? Visit The Falls of the Ohio.