William Edward Haslam is an American billionaire businessman and politician who served as the 49th governor of Tennessee from 2011 to 2019.
51 Facts About Bill Haslam
Bill Haslam was born in Knoxville and graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Bill Haslam began his career in business, joining his father, Jim Haslam, who was the founder of Pilot Corporation.
Bill Haslam rose to president of Pilot Corp in the 1990s, after his brother Jimmy Bill Haslam became the company's CEO.
Bill Haslam then left Pilot and from 1999 to 2001 was the CEO of the e-commerce and cataloging division at the department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue.
Bill Haslam then became a consultant at Saks and later served on the board of directors at Harold's Stores, Inc Bill Haslam is a co-owner of the minor league baseball team the Tennessee Smokies.
Bill Haslam was the wealthiest state governor in America, until Democrat J B Pritzker of Illinois took office in January 2019.
Bill Haslam was born in 1958 in Knoxville, Tennessee, the third child of Jim Bill Haslam, the founder of Pilot Corporation, the parent company of the convenience store and travel center chain, Pilot Flying J, and his wife, Cynthia.
Jim Bill Haslam has been a Republican Party fundraiser and University of Tennessee donor and trustee for several decades.
Bill Haslam was educated at the Webb School of Knoxville, where he became active in the Christian group Young Life.
Bill Haslam later attended Emory University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in history in 1980.
Bill Haslam is a member of the Beta Chi chapter of the Sigma Chi International Fraternity.
Bill Haslam had made plans to teach history and eventually become a minister.
Bill Haslam was elevated to president of the company in 1995.
In 1999, Bill Haslam joined Saks Fifth Avenue as the chief executive officer of the e-commerce and catalog division.
Bill Haslam left Saks in 2001, and joined the board of the Dallas-based clothing chain, Harold's Stores Inc.
Bill Haslam is one of the owners of the Tennessee Smokies, a minor league baseball team in East Tennessee.
In 2002, Bill Haslam announced he was running for Mayor of Knoxville, inspired in part by a conversation he had had with then-Chattanooga mayor Bob Corker.
In 2006, Bill Haslam appointed Rogero director of community development, later stating he had read Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals, and was inspired by President Abraham Lincoln's decision to appoint former campaign rivals to his cabinet.
Bill Haslam helped implement a master plan for the development of the South Knoxville riverfront, which was given an Outstanding Planning Award by the Tennessee Chapter of the American Planning Association.
The Bill Haslam administration operated under a balanced budget policy, which helped to double the city's savings during his first term.
On January 6,2009, Bill Haslam declared his intention to run for Tennessee governor in 2010.
Bill Haslam's campaign received contributions of $3.9 million between January and July 1 in 2009, substantially more than his Republican primary rivals.
Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey received $1.3 million and US Congressman Zach Wamp received $1.2 million, while Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Haslam Gibbons reported $416,000 at that time.
Bill Haslam received endorsements from former US Senator Howard Baker and Congressman Jimmy Duncan.
Bill Haslam's opponents attacked him as an oil executive, especially in the wake of price-gouging allegations levied against Pilot in the wake of the post-Hurricane Katrina fuel shortages, and criticized his refusal to release information related to his income while at Pilot.
Bill Haslam stated that job creation and long-term economic growth were his top priority as governor, followed by education reform and workforce development.
The budget bill contained an amendment cutting off all state funding to Planned Parenthood, but the measure was negated by an amendment inserted into the same bill by an unknown legislator, something Haslam vowed to correct in 2012.
On May 23,2011, Haslam signed a bill overturning a Nashville ordinance that barred discrimination against the hiring of homosexuals for any companies awarded city contracts.
In October 2011, Bill Haslam approved an order to implement a curfew on Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville, where several hundred protesters with the Occupy Nashville movement were camping out.
Bill Haslam signed the "Fast Track" bill, which provided cash grants to companies seeking to expand or relocate to Tennessee.
Bill Haslam argued that the law's Adequate Yearly Progress model labelled some state schools as failures in spite of these schools having made substantial improvement.
Bill Haslam criticized the bill for creating confusion rather than clarity, but pointed out the legislature had passed it by a large margin, and argued the bill would have no effect on the state's science curriculum.
On March 8,2012, Bill Haslam instructed his Health and Wellness Task Force to focus on the state's growing obesity problem, noting that nearly one-third of Tennesseans are obese.
Bill Haslam vetoed a controversial bill that sought to end Vanderbilt University's "All Comers" policy, which required religious groups at the school to allow any student to join even if the student didn't share the group's religious beliefs.
Bill Haslam stated he disagreed with the policy, but didn't think it appropriate for the government to interfere with the policies of a private institution.
In December 2012, Bill Haslam announced the state would not implement a provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows for a state-run health care exchange.
Bill Haslam had considered a state-run exchange for several weeks, but argued the federal government had not provided enough information regarding costs of the program, and what had been provided consisted of draft proposals subject to change.
Bill Haslam will take part in the 16-member search committee to select a new chancellor for the Tennessee Board of Regents.
Bill Haslam will continue to take part in restructuring the Board, which includes the implementation of the FOCUS Act.
The bill was seen by the Human Rights Campaign as an attempt to challenge Obergefell v Hodges and undermine same-sex marriage in Tennessee, and Haslam was criticized by the Tennessee Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Tennessee Equality Project for signing it into law.
Bill Haslam was formerly a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, but he resigned early in 2009 and became a member of the National Rifle Association.
Bill Haslam framed the education reforms as part of economic development, as the state sought to provide its workforce with more skills and thus attract businesses to the state.
Bill Haslam opposes same-sex marriage, though he has stated that he wouldn't discriminate against gay employees.
Bill Haslam has said he favors cracking down on businesses that employ illegal immigrants, and suggested he would sign a law requiring law enforcement officers to check the citizenship status of arrested individuals they suspect might be in the country illegally, if passed by the state legislature.
On January 11,2012, Bill Haslam endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination in the 2012 United States presidential election.
Bill Haslam's father was the Tennessee state co-chairman for the Romney campaign.
Bill Haslam met his wife, Crissy Garrett, at Emory University and they have been married since 1981; with one son and two daughters and eight grandchildren.
Bill Haslam is a Presbyterian, and is a longtime member of Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, an Evangelical Presbyterian Church congregation in Knoxville.
Bill Haslam has been a member of the Young Life Board of Trustees since 2011.
Bill Haslam announced in July 2019 that he would not do so.