Edward Scannell Butler was born in New Orleans in 1934. He went into the Army Management School from 1957-59 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. After completing the course he was employed as an account executive with Brown, Friedman and Company, an advertising firm.
Butler became friendly with Clay Shaw and Lloyd Cobb of the International Trade Mart and persuaded these men to help fund his anti-communist campaigns. This included the establishment of two organizations: Free Voice of Latin America (FVLA