Monday
Jun042007

Bill France Jr. Dead at 74

Bill France Jr., who transformed NASCAR from a small Southern sport into a billion-dollar conglomerate during his 31 years as chairman, died Monday at his Daytona Beach, Fla., home. He was 74.

France, the son of National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing founder William Henry Getty France, became the head of Nascar, the biggest U.S. auto-racing organization, after his father retired in 1972. France Jr. turned over the job of chief executive officer and chairman of Nascar to his son Brian France in 2003.

William C. France had a mild heart attack while at a Nascar race in Japan in 1997. In 1999 he was diagnosed and treated for cancer. France never revealed the type of cancer involved.

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