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From BR Bullpen
William Hoover Yawkey
 Biographical Information
Bill Yawkey was the owner of the Detroit Tigers from 1903 to 1919. He inherited the team from his father, William Yawkey Sr., who had bought it earlier that year. Yawkey only had a limited interest in running the club, and let President Frank Navin handle most matters. He sold Navin almost half of the club in 1908, and receded completely into the background after that, although he remained the Tigers' principal owner.
He was the uncle and adoptive father of Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey. He died at age 43, a victim of the influenza epidemic of 1919. After his death, Frank Navin bought out from Yawkey's estate the small amounts of share required for him to become the controlling owner, while the remainder of the shares were sold to Walter Briggs and John Kelsey, two businessmen who had made their fortune in the automobile industry.