« Back to Hall of Fame

Cato Butler (1929 - 2014)

Inducted: 2010

Cato Butler

Cato “The Cat” Butler began his broadcast career in 1946 when, as a junior at Helena High, he went to work at KPFA Radio. Cato is best known for his more than 60 years of broadcasting high school and college football and basketball games around the state, although he also called track meets, horse racing, boxing, golf and baseball.

In the 1950s, when there was little interest in the Carroll College football games, Butler bought time on stations and then sold it himself to sponsors and called the games. He served as the “voice of Class C basketball tournaments” which he called for more than 15 years. But Cato is perhaps best known for the many colorful phrases that he coined over his years of play-by-play including “He tickles the twine for two” ; “Katie bar the door; we have a barn burner here tonight”; and “The cat is in the bag and the bag is in the river.”

Now in his 80s, Cato continues to host a daily talk show on Helena radio.  Cato and his wife Dora have three children.