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William Wrigley III
Born January 21, 1933(1933-01-21)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died March 8, 1999
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Occupation Confectionery Magnate
Children Alison Wrigley Rusack, Philip K. Wrigley, Bill Wrigley, Jr.
Parents Philip Knight Wrigley, Helen Atwater
This page is for the third-generation confectionery magnate. For other persons, see William Wrigley.

William Wrigley III, known as William Wrigley, (January 21, 1933 Chicago, Illinois - March 8, 1999 Chicago) was President of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, founded by his grandfather William Wrigley, Jr. from 1961 until his death from pneumonia in March 1999.[1] His father P.K. Wrigley preceded him as president. He was succeeded by his son Bill Wrigley, Jr. as President and CEO. He inherited ownership of the Chicago Cubs in 1977. The death of both of his parents, within months of each other, forced the sale of the team to the Chicago Tribune in 1981 in order to pay estate taxes.

The company enjoyed a substantial lead in the chewing gum industry during his early years with the firm but, by the time he assumed the presidency in 1961, the company's leadership was succumbing to sugarless gum, and later bubble gum. As a result, the Wrigley Company invested heavily in research in order to expand into several new lines. Under William Wrigley's stewardship the company ventured into the following products: Orbit, Freedent, Extra, Hubba Bubba,and Big Red. The Company maintained its position as the world's largest manufacturer of chewing gum.

Wrigley attended Yale University as an undergraduate, and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon.

Wrigley lived by a family motto, "When your name is on the door, you're obliged to watch the store." He was in his office daily, when not traveling to Wrigley Company factories abroad, which was his practice twice a year. He was a legal resident of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin where he enjoyed ice-boating, cutting cattle, Arabian horses, and the family dogs. The family's Arabian horse business, first established at Catalina Island with William Wrigley, Jr's original purchase from Kellogg, was moved to Lake Geneva in the 1970s. The family's annual 4th of July fireworks display was a tradition in which he participated personally by selecting each component.


  1. ^ "Wrigley". ChicagoBusiness. Crain Communications, Inc.. 2005-10-17. Retrieved 2007-12-14.  


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