The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Bob Butler, Jr.

Share on Social Media

Information about Bob Butler, Jr.

Profile image of Bob Butler, Jr.

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television News Reporter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Brazil
Favorite Quote:
Hard Work, Low Pay or Hard Work, No Pay

Birthplace

Born:
6/5/1953
Birth Location:
Chelsea, Massachusetts

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television News Reporter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Brazil
Favorite Quote:
Hard Work, Low Pay or Hard Work, No Pay

Birthplace

Born:
6/5/1953
Birth Location:
Chelsea
See how Bob Butler, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Broadcast journalist Bob Butler was born on June 5, 1953 in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Butler grew up in a Navy family, and, as a child, he travelled throughout the United States. Butler attended St. Joseph-Notre Dame High School in Alameda, California, where he graduated in 1971. Before graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served in Guantanamo Bay and Newport, Rhode Island before receiving an honorable discharge in Philadelphia in 1974.

In 1974, Butler moved to Washington, D.C. and then Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he worked for Bell Telephone as a directory assistance operator while moonlighting as a disco deejay. In 1977, Butler returned to Hayward, California and studied at Chabot College where he also filled hourly newscasts at the campus station. Upon graduating from Chabot College in 1979, he briefly worked at Soulbeat Television; and, in 1980, was hired as a general assignment reporter at KDIA radio in Oakland, California.

Butler transferred to San Francisco State University and interned at KCBS radio in 1981. Shortly after, he was brought on as a desk assistant and then was hired on staff in 1982. Butler worked at the editor’s desk and became a fill-in reporter during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake where he covered a wide range of topics throughout the United States, including local and national politics, natural disasters, and general news.

Butler became the weekend morning reporter in September of 1999 and covered international stories in Brazil, Europe, and countries in Africa such as Namibia, Tanzania, and Senegal. In 2005, Butler was promoted to diversity director for CBS Corp. where he recruited diverse candidates for positions with the company’s radio and television stations. He left full-time employment at CBS in 2006, and was a lead reporter on the Chauncey Baily Project as an investigative reporter from 2007 to 2011.

Butler’s career includes leadership roles in various professional organizations. In 2000, Butler became a member for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and began mentoring college students on the radio projects in 2002. He was elected president of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA) in 2004, where he served for five years. In 2007 Butler was elected as NABJ’s regional director. He was promoted to vice-president of broadcast in 2009, and was elected the 20th President on August 2, 2013.

Butler joined the San Francisco board of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) in 1999. He became a member of the inaugural national board when AFTRA and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) merged in 2012, creating SAG-AFTRA.

Butler lives with his wife, Lois Butler, in the San Francisco Bay Area. They have one son, Robert Butler, III.

Bob Butler was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 6, 2013.

See how Bob Butler, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bob Butler, Jr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about moving during his childhood and teenage years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls attending his paternal grandfather's funeral in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about moving and his childhood interests
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes the various houses he lived in as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his early experiences with media and watching HistoryMaker Belva Davis on television
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about being an altar boy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his high school sports experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his decision to enroll in the U.S. Navy in 1971
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy and civil unrest in California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes experiencing racial discrimination as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about the history of racial discrimination in the U.S. Navy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his parents' generation's attitude towards race relations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his responsibilities at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Bob Butler, Jr. remembers working with Cubans on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in the early 1970s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls a defense training exercise at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes DJing parties in high school and in the U.S. Navy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about drinking and smoking during his service in the U.S. Navy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes various jobs he held after being discharged from the U.S. Navy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about working for Bell Telephone Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about DJing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1970s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his decision to enroll at Chabot College in Hayward, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his first newscasts at Chabot College in Hayward, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about working at Soul Beat in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about black media figures in the late 1970s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about the origins and growth of the National Association of Black Journalists
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Bob Butler, Jr. explains his reasons for leaving Soul Beat in 1979
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes Soul Beat's coverage of the Dr. Yusuf Bey case in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about Yusuf Bey's Your Black Muslim Bakery
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about the death of Chauncey Bailey and the reporting on the story
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about Chauncey Bailey
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about reporting on Chauncey Bailey's 2007 murder in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls attending college part-time at San Francisco State University while working full-time at KCBS
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about stories he reported on at KCBS and the awards the station won
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about the unpredictable nature of news reporting
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about mentoring aspiring black journalists and becoming president of the National Association of Black Journalists in 2013
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls joining the National Association of Black Journalists and attending his first conference in 2000
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about becoming a mentor for aspiring black journalists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about becoming diversity director for CBS in 2005
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls the death of a student journalist at the 2005 National Association of Black Journalists Convention
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about visiting Africa in 2005
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about the raid on Your Black Muslim Bakery following the 2007 murder of Chauncey Bailey
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls the 2008 election of HistoryMaker Barack Obama
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his post-CBS projects
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about becoming a regional director for the National Association of Black Journalists board in 2007
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his role as vice president of broadcast for the National Association of Black Journalists
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes his 2013 campaign for president of National Association of Black Journalists
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes new programs and his vision for the National Association of Black Journalists
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes a 2012 story he wrote about forced mortgage payoffs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes a 2012 story he wrote about forced mortgage payoffs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bob Butler, Jr. talks about his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bob Butler, Jr. recalls seeking treatment for his drug addiction
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bob Butler, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bob Butler, Jr. narrates his photographs