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William Henry Getty "Big Bill" France, Sr
Birth: Sep. 26, 1909
Washington
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Death: Jun. 7, 1992
Ormond Beach
Volusia County
Florida, USA

Auto Racing Pioneer. Born William Henry Getty France and often referred to as "Big Bill", he began racing cars in the Washington, DC area as soon as he was old enough to drive. In 1935 he relocated to Daytona, Florida, where he became the owner of a service station. In the late 1930s promoters began staging stock car races in Daytona Beach, and France was among the regular drivers. During World War II he used his mechanical ability in support of the war effort constructing vessels at the Daytona Boat Works. France returned to racing after the war, and in the late 1940s began an effort to combat unscrupulous promoters by forming an organization to promote and score races and guarantee purses. In 1948 France, Raymond Parks and others met at Daytona's Streamline Hotel and formed the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). His success at establishing uniform rules, guaranteed purses and other initiatives brought stability to stock car racing and led to the sport's exponential growth, and France served as Chief Executive Officer until being succeeded by his son Bill France, Jr. in 1972. The senior France remained active in car racing until his death, including founding the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. He was among the first inductees into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and was the first inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010. (bio by: Bill McKern) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  William Henry France (1874 - 1949)
 
 Spouse:
  Anne Katherine Bledsoe France (1904 - 1992)*
 
 Children:
  William Clifton France (1933 - 2007)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Hillside Cemetery
Ormond Beach
Volusia County
Florida, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bill McKern
Record added: Jun 22, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 54008575
William Henry Getty Big Bill France, Sr
Added by: Ruggero
 
William Henry Getty Big Bill France, Sr
Added by: Robert Stanley Orrell
 
William Henry Getty Big Bill France, Sr
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Robert Stanley Orrell
 
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