Edwin Butters

“Santa’s Reindeer Expert”
Coldwater, Michigan
1908 – 2005

International Santa Claus Hall of Fame – December 2022

Edwin Butters, without a doubt, was an expert on reindeer. He purchased ten reindeer from Alaska in 1947 and in two year on May 19, 1949 he successfully bred the first reindeer in captivity.

His experience and knowledge caught the eye of Charles W. Howard of the Santa Claus School in Albion, New York. Reindeer and Santa Claus go hand in hand so Howard brought Butters on as a reindeer expert for the school.

Along the way Butters earned his degree from the school. As Santa Claus, Butters appeared with his reindeer in many parades around the Great Lake’s region and the East Coast.

He and his reindeer made appearances at numerous holiday events, promotions and even television such as “What’s my Line?”

He also was seen on episodes of Captain Kangaroo, Sesame Street and the Today Show. Edwin Butter’s Santa Claus career is very unique as he was the one of the first, if not the first, to train, travel, and appear with reindeer.