Facts about Bill Porter

Bill Porter died at 81 years old
Best known as: The plucky salesman with cerebral palsy who inspired the film Door to Door


Bill Porter Biography

Bill Porter was born with cerebral palsy but nonetheless became a door-to-door salesman in Portland, Oregon, struggling up to 10 miles a day on foot while selling household products for the Watkins Company.

Friendly and persistent, in time Bill Porter became the top grossing Watkins salesman in the United States. A 1995 column about Porter in The Oregonian was widely reprinted and made Porter a popular symbol of optimistic determination.

Porter was featured in Reader’s Digest and on a segment of the ABC news magazine 20/20, and his story was told in the 2002 TNT cable movie Door To Door, with actor William H. Macy as Porter and Kyra Sedgwick as Porter’s friend and assistant, Shelly Brady.

Extra credit

Ten Things I Learned from Bill Porter, an inspirational book by Shelly Brady, was published in 2002 by New World Library… Bill Porter had to stop walking his route after breaking his hip in 1998.


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