251,257 Pages

W. E. B. Griffin
Born William Edmund Butterworth III
November 10, 1929(1929-11-10) (age 90)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Writer
Spouse(s) Emma Macalik Butterworth
her death in 2003

W. E. B. Griffin (born William Edmund Butterworth III on November 10, 1929) is a writer of military and detective fiction with 38 novels in six series published under that name. He has also published under 11 other pseudonyms and 3 versions of his real name (W. E. Butterworth, William E. Butterworth, and most recently William E. Butterworth III).[1]

Early life, education, and military serviceEdit

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. After completing his active duty military service, Griffin attended Philipps-Universität Marburg at Marburg-an-der-Lahn. His college days were cut short in 1951 when he was recalled to serve in the Korean War.

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.[2] Griffin received the Combat Infantryman Badge for service at the front lines.[3] 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. Griffin is modest about his own service. He once told a Barnes & Noble interviewer:

My own military background is wholly undistinguished. I was a sergeant. What happened was that I was incredibly lucky in getting to be around some truly distinguished senior officers, sergeants, and spooks.[4]

Writing careerEdit

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 is well-known and respected in the literary world for his thrillers and crime novels.[5] In recent years, his son, William E. Butterworth IV (previously editor of Boys' Life, the magazine of the Boy Scouts of America) has co-authored some of his books. William E. Butterworth IV, was a long-time editor who has 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.[6]

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.

Griffin is the co-founder of the William E. Colby Seminar on Intelligence, Military, and Diplomatic Affairs at Norwich University in Vermont, along with his friend, historian, and Patton biographer Colonel Carlo D'Este. Griffin is a member of the Colby Circle, having participated in the William E. Colby Writers Symposium at Norwich University.[7]

Family lifeEdit

Griffin's mother was Pennsylvania Dutch, a fact that motivated him to learn German and study at Marburg. Griffin's first wife, Emma Macalik Butterworth, was a ballet dancer and the author of As the Waltz Was Ending, a memoir of her life growing up as a dancer in Vienna during World War II. They had a daughter (Patricia) and two sons (John S. II and William E. IV) and later divorced. She died from lung cancer in 2003.[8]

Since 1992, Griffin has been married to an Argentine wife, and has a stepson, Ignacio. The couple met while Griffin was duck-hunting in Argentina. They divide their time between Buenos Aires and the United States. Mrs. Griffin's father is a former Colonel in the Húsares de Pueyrredon; Griffin has mined his father-in-law and other Argentine contacts to develop Argentine and Argentine-American characters for several of his novels which have been set in South America.

List of written worksEdit

Source = [9]

Written as W.E.B. Griffin

  • Men at War Series (Office of Strategic Services/OSS in ETO)
    • Book I, The Last Heroes (Originally published as In The Line of Duty under the pseudonym of Alex Baldwin) (1984)
    • Book II, The Secret Warriors (Originally published as Covert Operations under the pseudonym of Alex Baldwin) (1985)
    • Book III, The Soldier Spies (Originally published as Give me Liberty under the pseudonym of Alex Baldwin) (1986)
    • Book IV, The Fighting Agents (Originally published as Into Enemy Hands under the pseudonym of Alex Baldwin) (1989)
    • Book V, The Saboteurs (2007) (with William E. Butterworth IV)
    • Book VI, The Double Agents (2008) (with William E. Butterworth IV)
    • Book VII, The Spymasters (2012) (with William E. Butterworth IV), ISBN 0-399-15751-4 OCLC 668193226
  • Badge of Honor Series (Philadelphia Police Department)
    • Book I, Men in Blue (Originally published under pseudonym John Kevin Dugan) (1988)
    • Book II, Special Operations (Originally published under pseudonym John Kevin Dugan) (1989)
    • Book III, The Victim (1991)
    • Book IV, The Witness (1992)
    • Book V, The Assassin (1993)
    • Book VI, The Murderers (1994)
    • Book VII, The Investigators (1997)
    • Book VIII, Final Justice (2003)
    • Book IX, The Traffickers (2009) (with William E. Butterworth IV)
    • Book X, The Vigilantes (2010) (with William E. Butterworth IV)
    • Book XI, The Last Witness (2013) (with William E. Butterworth IV), ISBN 0-399-16257-7
    • Book XII, Deadly Assets (2015) (with William E. Butterworth IV), ISBN 9780399171178
  • Honor Bound Series (OSS in South America)
    • Book I, Honor Bound (1993)
    • Book II, Blood and Honor (1996)
    • Book III, Secret Honor (1999)
    • Book IV Death and Honor (2008) {with William E. Butterworth IV}
    • Book V, The Honor of Spies (2009) (with William E. Butterworth IV)
    • Book VI, Victory and Honor (2011) (with William E. Butterworth IV)
    • Book VII, Empire and Honor (2012) (with William E. Butterworth IV), ISBN 0-399-16066-3 OCLC 785077565
  • Written under pseudonym of Webb Beech
    • No French Leave (1960)
    • Article 92: Murder-Rape (1965)
    • Warrior's Way (1965)
    • Make War in Madness (1966)
  • Written under pseudonym of Walker E. Blake
    • Heartbreak Ridge (1962)
    • Hell on Wheels (1962)
    • The Girl in the Black Bikini (1962)
    • The Loved and the Lost (1962)
    • Once More With Passion (1964)
    • Doing What Comes Naturally (1965)

  • Written under pseudonym of James McM. Douglas
    • Hunger For Racing (1967)
    • Racing to Glory (1969)
    • The Twelve-cylinder Screamer (1971)
    • Drag Race Driver (1971)
    • A Long Ride on a Cycle (1972)
  • Written under the pseudonym of Jack Dugan
    • The Deep Kill (1984)
  • Written under pseudonym of Eden Hughes
    • The Wiltons (1980)
    • The Selkerks (1982)
  • Written under pseudonym of Allison Mitrchell
    • Wild Harvest (1983)
    • Wild Heritage (1984)
  • Written under pseudonym of Edmund O. Scholefield
    • L'il Wildcat (1965)
    • Tiger Rookie (1966)
    • Bryan's Dog (1967)
    • Maverick on the Mound (1968)
    • Yankee Boy (1970)
  • Written under the pseudonym of Blakely St. James
    • Christina's Passion (1977)
  • Written under pseudonym of Patrick J. Williams
    • Return to Daytona (1962)
    • Flat Out (1965)
    • Fastest Funny Car (1967)
    • Grad Prix Racing (1968)
    • The Green Ghost (1968)
    • Racing Mechanic (1971)
    • Team Racer (1972)
  • Written as W. E. Butterworth, William E. Butterworth, or William E. Butterworth, III
    • Comfort Me With Love (1959)
    • Hot Seat (1959)
    • The Love-Go-Round (1960)
    • Where We Go From Here (1961)
    • The Court-Martial (1962)
    • The Wonders of Astronomy (1964)
    • The Wonders of Rockets and Missiles (1965)
    • Fast Green Car (or Flat Out) (1965)
    • Stock-car Racer (1966)
    • Air Evac (1967)
    • Soldiers on Horseback; The Story of the United States Cavalry (1966)
    • The Image Makers (1967)
    • Helicopter Pilot (1967)
    • Road Racer (1967)
    • Orders to Vietnam (1968)
    • Redline 7100 (1968)
    • Grand Prix Driver (1969)
    • Stop and Search (1969)
    • The Wheel of a Fast Car (1969)
    • Up to the Quarterback (1969)
    • Fast and Smart (1970)
    • Marty and the Micromidgets (1970) (later as Micro-Midget Racer (1973))
    • Susan and Her Classic Convertible (1970)
    • Steve Bellamy (1970)
    • Stars and Planets (1970)
    • Moving West on 122 (1971)
    • Crazy to Race (1971)
    • My Father's Quite a Guy (1971)
    • Flying Army; The Modern Air Arm of the U.S. Army (1971)
    • Return to Racing (1971)
    • Wheels and Pistons; The Story of the Automobile (1971)
    • The High Wind: the Story of NASCAR Racing (1971)
    • The Sex Traveler (1971)
    • Dateline: Talladega (1972)
    • The Narc (1972)
    • Skyjacked (1972)
    • The Race Driver (1972)
    • Flying Army: The Modern Air Arm of the U.S. Army (1973)
    • Hot Wire (1973)
    • Race Car Team (1973)
    • Yankee Driver (1973)
    • Dave White and the Electric Wonder Car (1974)
    • Stop, Thief! (1974)
    • Tires and Other Things: Some Heroes of Automotive Evolution (1975)
    • Careers in the Armed Services (1976)
    • Mighty Minicycles' (1976)
    • The Roper Brothers and Their Magnificent Steam Automobile (1976)
    • An Album of Automobile Racing (1977)
    • Black Gold : The Story of Oil (1977)
    • Hifi — From Edison's Phonograph to Quadraphonic Sound (1977)
    • The Air Freight Mystery (1978)
    • Next Stop, Earth (1978)
    • The Tank Driver (1978)
    • The Hotel Mystery (1979)
    • The Wrecker Driver (1979)
    • Under the Influence (1980)
    • Slaughter by Auto (1980)
    • Leroy and the Old Man (1980) ISBN 0-590-07638-8.
    • Flunking Out (1981)
    • A Member of the Family (1982)
    • Moose, the Thing, and Me (1982)
    • The Hunting Trip (2015) ISBN 9780399176234


  1. W. E. B. Griffin official site FAQ section
  2. Blankenship, Janie. "Vets of WWI Through Vietnam Became Famous in the Literary World", VFW Magazine (April 2015), p. 48.
  3. "W.E.B. Griffin :: The Authors". 
  4. LeCount, Andrew (2000). Meet the Authors: W.E.B. Griffin (interview). Barnes and Noble website. Retrieved 2008-07-05
  5. Review of the novel, The Last Witness
  6. Poster, Mystery Writers Key West Fest, June 2014
  7. Colby Circle
  8. In Remembrance E. M. Butterworth
  9. "W.E.B. Griffin :: The Authors". 

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