|Name:||Howard Edward Butt Sr.|
|Birth Day:||April 9, 1895|
|Death Date:||Mar 12, 1991 (age 95)|
|Birth Place:||Memphis, United States|
As per our current Database, Howard Edward Butt Sr. died on Mar 12, 1991 (age 95).
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During his high school years, he helped manage a small-scale food store that his mother operated. Before launching his own business career, he served in World War I.
Howard "Harry" Butt was youngest of the three sons born to Charles Butt, a pharmacist from Memphis, and Florence Thornton Butt. The family moved to the drier climate of Kerrville, Texas due to his father's tuberculosis, and in 1905, his mother opened a small grocery store below their apartment. Howard managed the store while in high school and then after graduation, moved to California, where he harvested grapes. After service in the Navy during World War I, he returned to Texas in 1919 to once again manage the family store.
In 1922, he switched the store from the traditional "credit-and-delivery" setup to "cash-and-carry" and expanded its lineup from basic groceries to include personal care products. His first attempt at expansion - establishing a feed store in Kerrville and three satellite stores in nearby towns - ended in failure. In 1926, he tried again and opened a second store in Del Rio, Texas, 150 miles to the southwest along the Rio Grande which was successful. In 1928, he borrowed $38,000 realizing the need to expand to areas with greater population. He purchased a further three stores in the Rio Grande Valley some 300 miles to the South near the Mexican border. His new strategy paid off and he moved the company headquarters to Harlingen, Texas, where he opened up a distribution center and established the Harlingen Cannery which packaged Texas-manufactured produce. Thereafter, the company grew rapidly expanding into Laredo (1929), Corpus Christi (1931), Austin (1938), and San Antonio (1943).
In 1924, he married Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth. They had four children:
In 1934, after a destructive Texas hurricane, he founded the Howard E. Butt Community Investment Program whereby H-E-B would contribute 5% of its pretax earnings to various nonprofit organizations throughout Texas. Also in 1934, he established the H.E. Butt Foundation, one of the first charitable organizations in Texas. The foundation focused on funding public school programs, establishing libraries and constructing recreational facilities.
In 1935, he changed the name of the company to H.E. Butt Grocery. In 1940, he moved the company headquarters to Corpus Christi where he had opened a central bakery four years earlier. In 1946, he shortened the company name to H-E-B. In 1952, H-E-B opened its first supermarket in Corpus Christi then a new retail store concept where a shopper could purchase meat, fish, produce, baked good, and personal care products under a single roof. Butt gradually transitioned control of the company to his two sons. In 1971, his eldest son, Howard E. Butt Jr., resigned from the presidency to become a minister and his second son Charles Butt took over the leadership role. Howard Edward Butt Sr. remained as chairman until 1991 when he died at age 95.
Butt deferred much of his philanthropic activities to his wife, stating: "I make the money, and Mary spends it (on worthy causes). And I am glad she does." His wife started the State Crippled Children's Program, served as chairwoman of the Cameron County Child Welfare Board, started the first tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment program in the region, and purchased the first equipment used to test the hearing and vision of schoolchildren. In 1949, she co-organized and hosted the first Conference of Texas Foundations and Trusts which coordinated philanthropic giving so as to avoid duplication and promoted the exchange ideas and strategies. In 1955, she was appointed by Texas Governor Allan Shivers to the governing board of Texas State Hospitals and Special Schools (later the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation). She served as the only woman member of the board for 18 years being appointed by six different governors.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Butt to the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. Butt also helped establish the University of Corpus Christi, now part of the Texas A&M University System.
Currently, Howard Edward Butt Sr. is 127 years, 2 months and 17 days old. Howard Edward Butt Sr. will celebrate 128th birthday on a Sunday 9th of April 2023.
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