William Louis 'Bill' Veeck, Jr. (February 9, 1914 January 2, 1986), also known as 'Sport Shirt Bill', was a native of Chicago, Illinois, and a franchise owner and promoter in Major League Baseball. Veeck was at various times the owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox. As owner and team president of the Indians in 1947, Veeck signed Larry Doby and thus successfully integrated the American League. Veeck was the last owner to purchase a baseball franchise without an independent fortune, and is responsible for many innovations and contributions to baseball. Finding it hard to financially compete, Veeck retired after the 1980 Chicago White Sox season. He died of cancer six years later from years of smoking. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame five years later in 1991. Bill Veeck was born on February 9, 1914, in Chicago, Illinois. While Veeck was growing up in Hinsdale, Illinois, his father, William Veeck, Sr.
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