Bill, who lived in Salisbury, U.K. for many years, died Dec. 13, 2021. A native of Chicago, he came to Princeton from New Trier High School, having been preceded by two older brothers, Robert ’43 and Donald ’46. A highly talented pianist and a lifetime lover of music, Bill sang in the Glee Club and was president of the Nassoons. He majored in English, joined Colonial Club, and roomed with Bob Finnie and Dick Hargrave.

After brief stints with Harvard Law and the U.S. Army, Bill joined an advertising agency in Chicago, later moving to New York to join Benton & Bowles as an account executive, where he is said to have invented the brand name “Pampers” for a new Procter & Gamble product. Benton & Bowles sent him to London in 1962, where he promptly opened his own ad agency and began a lifelong dream as an entrepreneur as well as a figure on the social and cultural scene in the U.K. His best-known venture was the New England Ice Cream Co., which pioneered the introduction and sale of American-style ice cream to the country. Following the death of his first wife, Susan, in 1978, Bill married one of Britain’s leading fashion designers, Perri Thompson, and they together started the fashion company, Perri Ashby, to which Bill characteristically applied his zest for entrepreneurship and avant-garde design. 

Survivors include Perri; a Princeton daughter, Lucy Blackburn Reid ’85; and a grandson, William Cabot Reid *21.

Undergraduate Class of 1951