The son of Thomas B. and Annie Wood Butler, Thomas Butler was born in Gaffney, South Carolina in 1903. His father was an outstanding attorney and served as South Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor from 1927 through 1931. Thomas Butler was educated in Gaffney public schools, at The Citadel, graduated Vanderbilt University in 1923, where he was a loyal and enthusiastic alumni, and graduated from the University of South Carolina Law School in 1925.
He practiced law in Spartanburg with the firm of Bomar and Osborne which later became Osborne and Butler. After the Korean War, he practiced with Robert Chapman, who later became a United States District Judge, in the firm of Butler and Osborne. At the time of his death, he was the senior partner in the firm of Butler, Means, Evins and Browne.
In 1931, he married Sara Stacy of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who, along with their son, Thomas Butler, Jr., survived him.
Tom Butler enjoyed appellate work, loved the challenge of research and brief writing, was skilled in Workmen’s Compensation and many of his cases are now foundations of that act.
He served in the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1946, organized the Spartanburg Public Defenders Office, was President of the Camellia Society, and was a Vestryman in the Church of the Advent.
He had the keen, inquiring mind of a scholar, and as a advocate for his client and as a trial lawyer, he was without peer.