College life When he was a freshman in 1981, a fellow athlete could barely get into an elevator with Perry and their clothes, which they were carrying to be laundered. Now that he was a senior, the laundry room was a sanctuary where students could drop off their stuff for cleaning and get it back clean and dry.
Perry's success on the field and in the classroom didn't go unnoticed by Harvard administrators, who in 1986 made him the school's first male athletic director. Though he enjoyed his time at Harvard, Perry never lost sight of his goal to one day become president of the United States.
In 1999, Perry was appointed as President Bill Clinton's secretary of defense. As defense secretary, he had direct access to the nation's top military commanders and was responsible for planning and executing U.S. foreign policy regarding military affairs.
Harvard has not only been able to maintain its position as a leading university but has also managed to attract some famous alumni including Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, and Larry Ellison. In addition to being a well-known athlete and educator, William Perry also has two stars named after him. One is a star in the Harvard constellation and the other is a star in the Perry Circle of the University of Michigan's sky survey.
Former Chicago Bears defensive lineman William "The Refrigerator" Perry has one of the most well-known NFL tales and nicknames. A high school dropout who could not read or write, Perry came to the Bears in a trade with the New York Giants after his first two seasons in the league. He became a mainstay on the defensive line for 14 years, finishing his career with 175 tackles and 15 sacks. During his time in Chicago, the team went to three Super Bowls: XXV (1990), XXIX (1998) and XL (2005).
Perry's story began in 1978 when he was selected by the Giants in the second round of the NFL draft. He played only four games that season because of an ankle injury and then spent most of 1979 on the injured reserve list. In 1980, he started all 16 games for the first time in his career and led the team with nine sacks. The following year, he was voted into the Pro Bowl after recording 11 sacks.
In 1984, Perry was chosen for the first of three consecutive All-Pro teams. That same year, he also won the Norris Award as the best defensive player in the NFL.
William "The Refrigerator" Perry established his name and image into pop culture history with one of the Super Bowl's most memorable moments thirty years ago. During the 1987 game against Chicago, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a pass that appeared to be intercepted by Chicago defender Kevin Hardy at the Steelers' 35-yard line. However, replays showed that Hardy had grabbed the ball out of the air and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown, giving Chicago a 7-6 victory.
Perry, who was playing defense for Pittsburgh at nose tackle, was on him immediately after the play. "I saw the ball go up in the air, so I went full speed ahead trying to make a play," he said. "As soon as I got there, I knew it wasn't my man because it was a football. So I looked back over my shoulder and saw the ref raising his arm, so I just ran as hard as I could." The crowd went wild when the replay showed what happened, and the Pittsburgh fans gave Perry a standing ovation when he came off the field. He became a hero in Pittsburgh and was given the nickname "The Refrigerator" by media members who were surprised by his physical appearance (he weighed about 350 pounds).
William Perry may have been referred to as a car, a shed, a washing machine, or even a water heater. He wasn't, however. It had been the refrigerator—Fridge, for short—since his days as a 300-pound All-America nosetackle at Clemson. Before him, there was Big Bill Bates, who went by the nickname "Refrigerator."
Bates played in the NFL for seven seasons and was considered one of the best defensive players of his era. He was also known as a tough player to bring down after catching the ball. The nickname "Refrigerator" was given to him because of his ability to hold up under pressure. The man he replaced in Green Bay was Ollie Matson, who was nicknamed "The Human Refrigerator" for the same reason.
Matson played in only two games before being injured and then retiring due to knee problems. He was later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
There were other refrigrators in the NFL before Fridge. For example, Sam Huff played in the NFL from 1950 to 1960, and he's still regarded as one of the best defensive ends of all time. However, he never got much attention until after his death when it was revealed that he had ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and that he had been sick for several years.
Perry quickly became a pawn in Ditka and Ryan's political power struggle. Perry's "Refrigerator" moniker stuck with him in the NFL, and he rapidly became a fan favorite of the Chicago Bears. Teammates jokingly referred to him as "Biscuit," as in "one biscuit shy of 350 pounds."
In actual fact, William Perry's real name is Willimon Perry. He was born on January 4th, 1952, in New York City. His mother died when he was only nine years old, and he was raised by an aunt and uncle. He attended The High School of Music & Art in Manhattan, where he played football and ran track. After graduating in 1970, he went on to Yale University, where he studied history for two years before dropping out to play offensive line for the Yale Bulldogs football team. In 1973, he started work on a master's degree at the University of Chicago, but gave up after one year to concentrate on his career. In 1976, he joined the Bears as an undrafted free agent.
During his time with the club, he gained weight due to a love of food and drink, becoming known as "The Refrigerator" because of his large size. In 1984, he made $45,000, which was then a record for a rookie. By 1985, he had been awarded $100,000 because of his popularity with fans.
A Sorrowful Look at What Befell William "The Refrigerator" Perry. After a brief trip in rehab, he quit smoking, but in 2008, he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, "a condition that occurs when a person's immune system assaults his peripheral nerve system." Perry was soon in a wheelchair, and he was back on the bottle. On May 20, 2009, he died at age 44.
Perry's body was found by his wife, Nancy, in their Florida home. The official cause of death was determined to be alcohol poisoning due to a high level of alcohol in his blood stream. However, many people believe that he died from Guillain-Barre Syndrome because there were no signs of trauma around his neck, which would have been necessary if someone had killed him.
William Lee "Refrigerator" Perry was born on January 4, 1967, in New York City. He was raised by his mother after his father walked out on them when Perry was just a baby. He got his nickname at an early age when he was able to stop a basketball game with its outcome determined before the first quarter ended: He had ice packed into his mouth, and this apparently sounded like a French referee.
At the age of eleven, Perry stole $40,000 from his mother's purse while she was asleep and spent the money on drugs and alcohol. At fifteen, he was sent to jail for breaking and entering.