Production of higher alcohols via the keto-acid intermediates found in microorganism's native amino-acid pathways has recently shown promising results. In this work, an Escherichia coli strain that produces 1-butanol and 1-propanol from glucose was constructed. The strain first converts glucose to 2-ketobutyrate, a common keto-acid intermediate for isoleucine biosynthesis. Then, 2-ketobutyrate is converted to 1-propanol through reactions catalyzed by the heterologous decarboxylase and dehydrogenase, or to 1-butanol via the chemistry involved in the synthesis of the unnatural amino acid norvaline. We systematically improved the synthesis of 1-propanol and 1-butanol through deregulation of amino-acid biosynthesis and elimination of competing pathways. The final strain demonstrated a production titer of 2 g/L with nearly 1:1 ratio of butanol and propanol.