PROFILE: William Alexander “Billy” Black, the son of William “Pop” and Helen Black, was reared on a small dairy farm near Taunton, Massachusetts. When a greyhound track opened in 1935 about a mile from the farm, the family decided to rent their barn to kennels and open their home to greyhound owners and trainers. Billy died in an automobile accident on March 1, 1954 in Broward County, Florida, leaving behind his pregnant wife, Margaret and three-year-old son Billy Jr., and an 18-month-old daughter, Margie.
HISTORY: Listening to the stories of Greyhound owners who boarded at his family’s home, Billy Black developed an interest in the industry and began helping the owners and trainers handle their greyhounds at the track and while training. In 1937, Black took a job as a trainer for Jimmie Sparks and Art Wilson. Three years later he began working for Fred Whitehead and Remained in his employ for more than a dozen years. Just prior to his death, Black had completed arrangements with his father-in-law, Jack Kirkland, for a joint business venture that included a boarding kennel in Davie, Florida.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Black was known as one of the finest greyhound conditioners in the business and was revered for his strength of character, his strong work ethic and his sense of values.