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William Hill (16 July 1903 - 15 October 1971) was the founder of William Hill, one of the United Kingdommarker's largest firms of bookmakers.


Born in Birminghammarker, William Hill left school at the age of twelve to work on his uncle's farm. While working in a factory in Birminghammarker he started collecting bets from local people on his motorcycle. In 1929 he moved to Londonmarker where he started taking bets on greyhounds before opening a betting shop in Jermyn Street in 1934. In 1944 he produced the first fixed-odds football coupon.

In 1954 he reversed his business into Holder's Investment Trust, a shell company, thereby securing a listing on the London Stock Exchange.

He was also interested in breeding horses and in 1943 bought a stud at Whitsburymarker in Hampshire. He retired in 1970 and died in Newmarketmarker the following year.


In 1923 he married Ivy Burley and together they went on to have one daughter.


  1. William Hill at Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. William Hill: History

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