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Alan David Butler Zimbabwe businessperson

Alan David Butler (23 October 1927 – July 1972) was a Rhodesian sailor, businessman and politician. He competed at the 1960 and 1964 Summer Olympics in the “Flying Dutchman” event and finished in fourth and eleventh place, respectively.
Butler was born in London to Lois Butler and Alan Samuel Butler. His mother competed in Alpine skiing at the 1936 Winter Olympics for Canada, whereas his father was the chairman of the de Havilland Aircraft Company. Butler studied at Eton College in England, and also spent some of his junior years in Canada. In the late 1940s he was a candidate for the British Alpine skiing Olympic team, but broke his ankles and ended his skiing career. In 1949 his family moved to Southern Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe), where Butler became a farmer in Matabeleland and built a business empire, which included a charter aircraft company. In the 1950s he entered politics as a member of the Rhodesian parliament, and by the 1965 election was a leader of the United Federal Party. His party lost that election to Rhodesian Front, a party that promoted the policy of white rule in the country. This resulted in the suspension of Rhodesia from the Olympic movement, closing any prospects for the 1968 Olympics for Butler. He was preparing for the 1972 Games in Europe, but was killed in a road accident in Belgium. His ashes were scattered from his own crop-spraying aircraft over his cattle ranch at Balla Balla.
In 1951 Butler married Joanna; they had two sons, Nigel and Rhett. Joanna died of cancer in October 1970, and in July 1971 Butler married Jill Ord. She was seriously injured in the accident that killed Butler.

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