W. E. B. Griffin is one of eight pseudonyms used by William E. Butterworth III, who was born in Newark, New Jersey on November 10, 1929. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private in 1946 and was assigned to the Army of Occupation in Germany. He left the service in 1947 but was recalled to active duty in 1951 because of the Korean War. After leaving the service for the second time, he remained in Korea as a combat correspondent. He was later appointed chief of the publications division of the Signal Aviation Test and Support Activity at the Army Aviation Center in Fort Rucker, Alabama. He received the Brigadier General Robert L. Dening Memorial Distinguished Service Award of the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association in 1991 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award in 1999.
He wrote more than 200 books including the Brotherhood of War series, The Corps series, Badge of Honor series, Honor Bound series, Presidential Agent series, Men at War series, and A Clandestine Operations Novel series. Under his own name, he wrote 12 sequels in the 1970s to Richard Hooker's book M*A*S*H. His other pen names included Alex Baldwin, Webb Beech, and Walter E. Blake. He wrote over 20 books with his son William E. Butterworth IV. He received the Alabama Author's Award in 1982 from the Alabama Library Association. He died on February 12, 2019 at the age of 89.