The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 
 William Wrigley, Jr

William Wrigley, Jr

Birth
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 26 Jan 1932 (aged 70)
Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Gratitude
Memorial ID 2371 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Industrialist, Entrepreneur. The Philadelphia born youngster was put to work in his father's soap factory doing menial labor after being expelled from grammar school. At age thirteen, he left home and sold his father's soap door-to-door from a two-horse wagon in rural Pennsylvania, New York and New England. After years of giving away free gum with purchases of soap and realizing that gum was the customers' preference, he went into the gum manufacturing in Chicago. He acquired a share of Chicago's National League Baseball Team in 1916; followed in 1919 with the purchase of 90 percent of Catalina Island; and was instrumental in development of the island until his death. The infrastructure of the public-owned area of Catalina, known as Avalon, was developed using his own money to construct water and electrical utilities and a sewer system; then he erected hotels while building the world's largest dance hall, the Avalon Grand Casino. Wrigley brought the world to Catalina with construction of a boat harbor and docking facilities for his own series of steamship, the most remembered the SS Avalon and SS Catalina. In 1928, he built the Bird Park which had thousands of exotic birds on display, and in 1929, the ultimate, the Casino opened which had a theater and Ballroom. He developed the Island economic base providing for employment of locals in the form of Catalina Clay Products, which provided pavers and roofing tile, pottery and dinnerware. He also added a foundry and furniture factory along with full-scale mining for silver, lead and zinc. His promotions resulted in wide spread fame for the Island. The Wrigley Ocean Marathon and a world class golf tournament staged on his own 18-hole golf course. He revolutionized baseball with spring training and brought the Cubs to Catalina. The practice field in Avalon had the exact dimensions of Wrigley Field in Chicago. Wrigley traveled on road trips with the team and rarely missed a home game. In 1975, the Wrigley family donated 88% of the Island to the Catalina Island Conservancy, whose mission is to preserve and restore Catalina to its natural state allowing most of the land mass to remain a natural wilderness. He passed away from a stroke in the bedroom at his newly completed winter residence in Phoenix, Arizona, 2501 E. Telawa Trail. A private service was held along with a public memorial in Chicago's St. Chrysostom Episcopal Church; it was complete with ushers from Wrigley Field and a carillonneur, who belled a farewell to the gum man with Aloha. His wife Ada began construction of an imposing sarcophagus monument on Catalina Island located off the California coast consisting of a companion crypt. Wrigley was interred in the marble crypt in 1934. The remains were moved during World War II to Forest Lawn Glendale Cemetery. The imposing structure and the empty companion crypts are still on the island but are now the centerpiece of the Wrigley Botanical Gardens. The garden was conceived by Wrigley's widow, Ada, in 1935. It is an extended memorial to her husband and today encompasses thousands of rare and endangered desert plants on 35 acres. Legacy...Wrigley Field, Chicago, home of the Chicago Cubs is the namesake of William Wrigley, Jr. However, Wrigley Field West, which was the home of the Pacific Coast League Los Angeles Angels, the Cub's farm team, is long gone and was demolished. The famous Wrigley office building in Chicago located on Michigan Avenue is still one of the city's most attractive buildings. The white terra-cotta structure is further enhanced by its nighttime lighting. Many books have been written about this remarkable building, which has been used in countless motion pictures and television programs. The Wrigley's renowned Avalon Casino is a landmark on Catalina Island and still greeting island visitors. During its heyday, thousands danced to the music of the Big Bands...Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, and Glen Miller. The Italian Renaissance Wrigley Mansion located in Pasadena, California is still in use today. It is the headquarters for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. The mansion is seen on world-wide television as it is the starting point of the Tournament of Roses Parade staged each year on New Years Day. The SS Catalina, the last steamer on the Island run, was salvaged from a sand bar in Mexico and is being restored. The unspoiled island created by Wrigley has literally been a second studio to film makers in Hollywood. It has served as the location for over 500 motion pictures, documentaries and commercials. Classics such as "Treasure Island" and "Mutiny on the Bounty" were filmed here. Fourteen bison were transported to the island to be used for a western movie and left there. Today, they have become a herd. A bit of trivia: Wrigley spent millions on advertisement for his gum, from catchy radio jingles, newspapers, magazines billboards. None were as imposing as the gigantic fully-lit Wrigley sign at night that dazzled Broadway in New York City. With great fanfare, it was dismantled in 1942 with the metal earmarked for National Defense to aid the war effort. Click here to view Wrigley's former burial place.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield


Family Members


Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was William Wrigley, Jr?

Current rating:

72 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2371
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Wrigley, Jr (30 Sep 1861–26 Jan 1932), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2371, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .