photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
United States Marine Corps general, two time Medal of Honor recipient, activist, lecturer, official, and writerwd:Q556880
country of citizenship:
United States of America
language of expression: English
educated at: The Haverford School
occupation: military officer, activist, lecturer, official, writer
award received: Medal of Honor, Marine Corps Brevet Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, Spanish Campaign Medal, China Relief Expedition Medal, Haitian Campaign Medal, Philippine Campaign Medal, Dominican Campaign Medal, Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, Mexican Service Medal, World War I Victory Medal, Yangtze Service Medal, National Order of Honour and Merit, Commander of the Order of the Black Star, Victory Medal, Officer of the National Order of Merit
Major General Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940), nicknamed "Old Gimlet Eye", was a senior United States Marine Corps officer who fought in both the Mexican Revolution and World War I. Butler was, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Butler later became an outspoken critic of American wars and their consequences. Butler also exposed an alleged plan to overthrow the United States government.
By the end of his career, Butler had received 16 medals, five for heroism. He is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal (along with Wendell Neville and David Porter) and the Medal of Honor, and the only Marine to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.
In 1933, he became involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot, when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists were planning a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler selected to lead a march of veterans to become dictator, similar to Fascist regimes at that time. The individuals involved all denied the existence of a plot and the media ridiculed the allegations, but a final report by a special House of Representatives Committee confirmed some of Butler's testimony.
In 1935, Butler wrote a book titled War Is a Racket, where he described and criticized the workings of the United States in its foreign actions and wars, such as those in which he had been involved, including the American corporations and other imperialist motivations behind them. After retiring from service, he became a popular advocate, speaking at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists, and church groups in the 1930s.
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