Butterworth was born in Hartford, Connecticut and spent much of his life as a teacher, teaching at Kent School in Kent, Connecticut from 1937 to 1947 and Junior School in West Hartford, Connecticut from 1947 to 1949. Additionally, beginning in 1947, he taught English at Hartford College for Women in Hartford, Connecticut until the late 1980s.
Butterworth was an author of many children's books, most of which took place in the New England area of the United States in which he was born and raised.
His most popular book was The Enormous Egg, the fanciful story of farmboy Nate Twitchell who raises a dinosaur (a Triceratops named "Uncle Beazley") that hatches from a hen's egg in 1950s New England.
Butterworth died of cancer in West Hartford, aged 75.