Net Worth: $400'000'000
Bill Bowerman was an American track and field coach and entrepreneur whose net worth was 400’000’000 at the time of his death. Bowerman is best known for co-founding Nike with Phil Knight. Bowerman was also the inventor of some of Nike’s best-selling models, including the Cortez and Waffle Racer. Bowerman himself assisted the company’s operations and helped Nike become the worldwide fame that it is today. Bowerman himself crafted his own shoes from a waffle maker in the kitchen. In December 1999, he passed away. The day after Nike went public in December 1980, Bill owned roughly 26’000’000 shares. The shares reportedly were worth 9’000’000 By the end of the first day of trading. The company’s stake was 390’000’000 On the day of his death in 1999. If Bill was still alive today, his 26’000’000 shares would be worth $3.5 billion. Bill Bowerman was born in February 1911 in Portland, Oregon. Bowerman’s father was a former state, Governor Jay Bowerman. His mother grew up in Fossil, Oregon. After Jay and bower man’s mother divorced in 1913, The family moved to Fossil. Bowerman had two brothers and a sister. He had a twin brother named Thomas, who died in a tragic elevator accident. Bowerman was only two years old. Bowerman attended schools in Seattle and Medford before returning to Medford for high school. Bowerman played in the high school band and, in his junior and senior years, was on the school’s championship football team. Bowerman met Barbara Young first at a high school, where he later married. College Years Bowerman attended Oregon University in 1929, where he played football for the team and studied journalism. Bowerman also joined the college track team that would launch bower man’s lifelong connection with the sport. Bowerman was also a member of the Fraternity Beta Theta Pi. After Bowerman graduated from college, he taught biology and coached for the Franklin High School in Portland, Oregon. In 1934 He took on this position. Bowerman moved back to Medford in 1935 However in order to teach football as well as to coach. He helped the team win the 1940 state title. After the infamous Pearl Harbor attack, which propelled the US into WW2, Bowerman had to put his coaching and teaching career on hold to take part in the ROTC and Army Reserve. He would eventually join the United States Army at the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. After World War II, Bowerman returned to his job as a coach and educator at the Medford High School. Bowerman and his family moved next to Eugene, Oregon, where Bowerman was hired to become the head coach of the track team at bower man’s alma mater, the University of. On 1 July 1948, he took over the post. Bowerman and his Men’s Track Team of Oregon would famously win 24 NCAA individual titles (boasting wins in 15 out of 19 events), not to mention 4 NCAA crowns (taking place in 1962, 1964, 1965, and 1970). The team also famously posted 16 top-10 NCAA finishes in as little as 24 years with Bowerman at The head coach position. Bowerman’s track and field teams had 33 Olympians, 38 conference champions, as well as 64 All-Americans. He trained many successful athletes, including 31 Olympic athletes, 12 American record-holders, 51 Afro-Americans, 22 NCAA champions 16 runners who broke the four-minute mile mark. Bowerman would continue to coach for 24 years at the University of Oregon and led the team to a winning record in 23 of those years. Bowerman’s teams might have finished 16 times in the top 10 of the nation. One of the athletes coached at the University by Bowerman was his future cofounder Nike Phil Knight. In 1964 Phil visited Bill and Barbara Bowerman to pitch the idea of forming a shoe company. It was Barbara who was the seed capital for the company. Soon Bowerman and Knight launched an information distribution company called Blue Ribbon Sports. The company also made shoes made by other manufacturers, mainly those manufactured in Japan. They eventually moved into the making of their own shoes. The forward-thinking design ideas of Bowerman led to the creation of his running shoe called Nike Cortez 1968, which would become a top-seller among track athletes and remains one of Nike’s most recognizable and iconic. Bowerman would have subsequently designed several additional Nike shoes. Famously Bowerman would use his wife’s Belgian waffle iron while using waffle-ironed rubber to make a new sole that would have improved grip yet be light in weight. The famous design inspiration of Bowerman also led to the introduction of the Moon Shoe in 1972. The additional refinements of Bowerman would also result in the 1974 Nike Waffle Trainer, which helped put the Nike brand on the map. Bowerman’s shoe experiments would, However, come with a price. Bowerman experienced severe nerve damage As a result of working in small ventilated spaces and from utilizing glue and solvents that contained toxic components. Sadly Bowerman ended up not being able to run in the shoes he himself designed. Legacy: Bowerman has been inducted into many Halls of Games, including the National Distance Running OF, the USA National Track and Field OF, and the Oregon Sports OF. Bill Bowerman died on 24 December 1999 at 88.
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