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William Wrigley Jr.
Born September 30, 1861 (1861-09-30)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died January 26, 1932 (1932-01-27) (aged 70)
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Occupation Confectionery magnate
Spouse(s) Ada
Children Dorothy, Philip Knight Wrigley
Parents William and Mary A. Ladley

William Wrigley Jr. (September 30, 1861–January 26, 1932) was a U.S. chewing gum industrialist. He was founder and eponym of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company in 1891. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Wrigley played an instrumental role in the history of Catalina Island, off the shore of Los Angeles, California. He bought controlling interest in the island in 1919 and improved the island with public utilities, new steamships, a hotel, the Casino building, and extensive plantings of trees, shrubs and flowers. He also sought to create an enterprise which would help employ local residents. By using clay and minerals found on the island in 1927 William Wrigley Jr. created the Pebbly Beach quarry and tile plant, at a beach located near Avalon. Along with creating a job market for Avalon residents, the plant also provided materials for Wrigley's numerous building projects on the island.[1] After the building of Avalon's Casino (see Avalon Theater (Catalina)) in 1929, the Catalina Clay Products Tile and Pottery Plant began churning out handmade glazed tiles, dinnerware and other practical household items such as bookends.[2] Nowadays, Catalina art pottery are highly popular antique collectibles.

However, William Wrigley Jr.'s greatest legacy was his plan for the future of Catalina Island — that it remain protected for all generations to enjoy. His son, P.K. Wrigley, eventually established the Catalina Island Conservancy for this in 1972 and transferred all family ownership to it. Wrigley is honored with the Wrigley Memorial in the Wrigley Botanical Gardens on the island.

Wrigley was also owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, which held its annual spring training on Catalina Island. Wrigley Field, the Cubs' ballpark in Chicago, is named for the owner. The now-demolished former home of the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League, at that time the Cubs' top farm team, was also called Wrigley Field. He purchased the Chicago Cubs from Albert Lasker in 1925.[3]

The Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona was partially financed, then wholly owned, by Wrigley, who finished the nearby Wrigley Mansion as a winter cottage in 1931. At 16,000 square feet (1,500 m2) it was the smallest of his five residences.

Wrigley left his fortune to daughter Dorothy Wrigley Offield, and son, P.K. Wrigley, who continued to run the company businesses for the next 45 years until his death.

His great-grandson William Wrigley, Jr. II is the executive-chairman and ex CEO of the Wrigley Company. Mr Wrigley, Jr. was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2000.


  1. ^ "Catalina Pottery", Old and Sold Antiques Auction & Marketplace[1]
  2. ^ Sampler Tour of Art Tiles from Catalina Island.[2]
  3. ^

William Wrigley Jr. attended Yale University, where he became a brother of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Phi chapter).

External links

On the cover of Time in 1929
Wrigley's steamship Catalina leaving the Los Angeles docks, 1924
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The Wrigley Lofts, formerly Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. Ltd. located in Toronto, Canada



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