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By Order of the President 804 copies, 9 reviews
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William Edmund Butterworth III (November 10, 1929 – February 12, 2019), better known by his pen name W. E. B. Griffin, was an American writer of military and detective fiction with 59 novels in seven series published under that name. 21 of those books were co-written with his son, William E Butterworth IV. He also published under 11 other pseudonyms and three versions of his real name (W. E. Butterworth, William E. Butterworth, and William E. Butterworth III).

Griffin grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. He joined the United States Army in 1946. His military occupation was counter-intelligence and in this capacity he served in the Constabulary in Germany, thus earning the Army of Occupation Medal. One of Griffin's duties was delivering food to German general officers, and their families, including the widow of would-be Hitler assassin Claus von Stauffenberg. His exposure to German military and civilian aristocracy supplied much of the inspiration for such Griffin creations as Oberst Graf von Greiffenberg, who appears in several of the Brotherhood of War novels.

In Korea he first served as an official Army war correspondent with the 223rd Infantry Regiment, then as public information officer for U.S. X Corps, which included the 1st Marine Division. Griffin received the Combat Infantryman Badge for service at the front lines. His knowledge of combat and garrison life and his friendships with military personnel from different services would well serve his writing. Many of his books are dedicated to fallen comrades who died in Korea or later on in Vietnam or while serving with the international peacekeeping force dispatched during the Lebanese Civil War.

After the end of the Korean War, Griffin continued to work for the military in a civilian capacity as Chief of the Publications Division of the U.S. Army Signal Aviation Test & Support Activity at Fort Rucker, Alabama. After his first three novels proved successful, he left this job to pursue writing full-time. To date, he has 160 fiction and nonfiction works to his credit. He was well-known and respected in the literary world for his thrillers and crime novels.

His son, William E. Butterworth IV (previously editor of Boys' Life, the magazine of the Boy Scouts of America) co-authored some of his books. William E. Butterworth IV, was a long-time editor who moved from assisting in editing his father's work to collaborator. As of July 2015, he has been co-author of sixteen Griffin books in five different novel series. He was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Mystery Writers Key West Fest.

Griffin's knowledge of military jargon and administrative writing style shows when fictional orders and dispatches are incorporated in his novels. Many of his characters must battle red tape and bureaucratic mix-ups, sometimes making humorous end-runs around the system.
Disambiguation notice

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