Dr. Robert N. Butler, a psychiatrist whose painful youthful realization that death is inevitable prompted him to challenge and ultimately reform the treatment of the elderly through research, public policy and a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, died Sunday in Manhattan. He was 83 and had worked until three days before his death.
Robert Caplin for The New York Times
“Human beings need the freedom to live with change, to invent and reinvent themselves,” Dr. Robert Butler wrote in one book.
The cause was acute leukemia, his daughter Christine Butler said.
Dr. Butler’s influence was apparent in the widely used word he coined to describe discrimination against the elderly: “ageism.” He defended as healthy the way many old people slip into old memories — even giving it a name, “life review.” full article>>