Dr. Thomas E. (Tom) Butt was born in Pocahontas, Virginia. He was educated at Roanoke College and graduated in 1957 with a BA in economics. At Roanoke College Butt was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity. He furthered his education at the Medical College of Virginia, where he obtained his degree in dentistry.
When Dr. Butt was a freshman in dental school, he invented the first known dental product containing fluoride, a fluoride mouthwash. As he was preparing to market it, the dean threatened to have him expelled if he continued, claiming that it could do nothing for dentistry. Dr. Tom backed off, only to learn before long, that the world would be introduced to Crest toothpaste with fluoride.
After a tour with the US Army (where he was the Captain of the U.S. Army Dental Corps, received the Outstanding Achievement Award, and was the winner of the U.S. Army Entertainment Contest to world finals), Dr. Butt established his practice in Wytheville, Virginia, and continued his education, having accumulated 4,700 hours with the Academy of General Dentistry. Once retired for the dentistry profession, Dr. Butt continued to have an interest in dental products and even obtained an international patent on one of these products.
Dr. Tom had a strong interest in music, and formed his own band in dental school, and personally won the national competition for trumpet when he served in the US Army. Once Dr. Tom moved to Wytheville, he played for local civic clubs and wrote and recorded his own songs under Super Sport Publishing Company and Super Star Record Label Company. He cut around 75 songs in Nashville over a span of several years. Dr. Tom and his band performed during the local Chautauqua Festivals and in 1984, the band opened for the Statler Brothers at their annual Fourth of July show at Staunton. Dr. Tom is a charter member of the Rockabilly Music Foundation in Nashville, and has made impromptu appearances in Beijing and Shanghai, China; New Orleans at Mardi Gras, and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dr. Thomas Butt was married to Linda Sue Hunter Butt, and together the two had three children; Dianne Hunter Butt, Thomas Rupert Butt, and Charles Walter Butt.
Thomas E. Butt received the Roanoke College Medal in 1982.