Horton in 1965
January 12, 1930|
Cochrane, ON, CAN
|Died||February 21, 1974
St. Catharines, ON, CAN
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)|
|Played for||Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Rangers
|Hall of Fame, 1977|
Miles Gilbert "Tim" Horton (January 12, 1930 – February 21, 1974) was a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman - playing 24 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres - as well as a businessman and co-founder of coffee house chain Tim Hortons. He died in an automobile crash while being chased by police in St. Catharines, Ontario, in 1974 at the age of 44.
Early years 
Tim Horton was born in Cochrane, Ontario, at Lady Minto Hospital. His parents were Aaron Oakley Horton (a Canadian National Railway mechanic) and Ethel Horton. Tim had one brother, Gerry Horton.
His father was of English descent, and his mother of Irish descent. The Hortons moved to Duparquet, Quebec in 1935, but returned to Cochrane in 1938. In 1945, Tim and his family moved to Sudbury, Ontario.
Playing career 
Tim Horton grew up playing ice hockey in Cochrane, and later in the mining country near Timmins. The Toronto Maple Leafs organization signed him, and in 1948 he moved to Toronto to play junior hockey and attended St. Michael's College School.
Two years later, he turned pro with the Leafs' farm team, the Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League, and most of his first three seasons were spent with Pittsburgh. He played in his first NHL game on March 26, 1950, but did not appear in the NHL again until the fall of 1952. He remained a Leaf until 1970, winning four Stanley Cups. Horton later played for the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. Horton was known for his tremendous strength and calmness under pressure, and had relatively few penalty minutes for an enforcer-type defenceman. Horton was a hard-working and durable defenceman who was also an effective puck carrier – in 1964–65 he played right wing for the Leafs. He was named an NHL First Team All-Star three times (1964, 1968, and 1969). He was selected to the NHL Second Team three more times (1954, 1963, 1967). He appeared in six National Hockey League All-Star Games.
Between February 11, 1961, and February 4, 1968, Horton appeared in 486 consecutive regular-season games; this remains the Leafs club record for consecutive games and was the NHL record for consecutive games by a defencemen until broken by Karlis Skrastins on February 8, 2007. On March 12, 1955, he had suffered a broken leg and jaw after being checked by Bill Gadsby of the Rangers. The injuries were so severe that he missed much of the following season, and there had been some doubt as to whether he would ever be able to return to the game.
Horton had a reputation for enveloping players who were fighting him in a crushing bear hug. Boston Bruins winger Derek Sanderson once bit Horton during a fight; years later, Horton's widow, Lori, still wondered why. "Well," Sanderson replied, "I felt one rib go, and I felt another rib go, so I just had—to, well, get out of there!"
Injuries and age were little more than minor inconveniences to Horton, who was generally acknowledged as the strongest man in the game while he was playing. Chicago Blackhawks winger Bobby Hull declared, "There were defensemen you had to fear because they were vicious and would slam you into the boards from behind, for one, Eddie Shore. But you respected Tim Horton because he didn't need that type of intimidation. He used his tremendous strength and talent to keep you in check."
In 1962, he scored three goals and 13 assists in 12 playoff games, setting a Leafs team record for playoff points by a defenceman that was tied in 1978 by Ian Turnbull (who played 13 games) and was not broken until 1994, when David Ellett registered 18 points (albeit in 18 games).
In spite of the fact that Horton was 42 years old at the time, and suffering from considerable nearsightedness, former Leafs general manager Punch Imlach signed Horton for the Sabres in 1972. His performance aided the Sabres in their first playoff appearance in 1973. He subsequently signed a contract extension in the offseason.
Horton wore the number 7 while playing for the Leafs, the same number worn by King Clancy from 1931–32 to 1936–37. The team declared both Horton and Clancy honoured players at a ceremony on November 21, 1995, but did not retire the number 7 from team use; instead, it became an Honoured Jersey Number, abiding by Leafs honours policy. Horton wore number 2 in Buffalo (as Rick Martin already had the number 7), which was retired.
Horton believed that he had taken too many penalties early in his career because of his "hot temper".
Career statistics 
|1947–48||St. Michael's Majors||OHA||32||6||7||13||137||—||—||—||—||—|
|1948–49||St. Michael's Majors||OHA||32||9||18||27||95||—||—||—||—||—|
|1949–50||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||1||0||0||0||2||1||0||0||0||2|
|1951–52||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||4||0||0||0||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|1952–53||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||2||14||16||85||—||—||—||—||—|
|1953–54||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||7||24||31||94||5||1||1||2||4|
|1954–55||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||67||5||9||14||84||—||—||—||—||—|
|1955–56||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||35||0||5||5||36||2||0||0||0||4|
|1956–57||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||66||6||19||25||72||—||—||—||—||—|
|1957–58||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||53||6||20||26||39||—||—||—||—||—|
|1958–59||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||5||21||26||76||12||0||3||3||16|
|1959–60||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||3||29||32||69||10||0||1||1||6|
|1960–61||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||57||6||15||21||75||5||0||0||0||0|
|1961–62||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||10||28||38||88||12||3||13||16||16|
|1962–63||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||6||19||25||69||10||1||3||4||10|
|1963–64||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||9||20||29||71||14||0||4||4||20|
|1964–65||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||12||16||28||95||6||0||2||2||13|
|1965–66||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||6||22||28||76||4||1||0||1||12|
|1966–67||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||8||17||25||70||12||3||5||8||25|
|1967–68||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||69||4||23||27||82||—||—||—||—||—|
|1968–69||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||74||11||29||40||107||4||0||0||0||7|
|1969–70||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||59||3||19||22||91||—||—||—||—||—|
|1969–70||New York Rangers||NHL||15||1||5||6||16||6||1||1||2||28|
|1970–71||New York Rangers||NHL||78||2||18||20||57||13||1||4||5||14|
Doughnut industries 
In 1964, Horton opened his first Tim Horton Doughnut Shop in Hamilton, Ontario on Ottawa Street. He even added a few of his culinary creations to the initial menu. By 1967, Horton had become a multi-million dollar franchise system. Horton's previous business ventures included both a hamburger restaurant and Studebaker auto dealership in Toronto.
Upon Horton's death in 1974, his business partner, Ron Joyce, bought out the Horton family's shares for $1 million and took over as sole owner of the existing chain of 40 stores.
Today, in addition to over 3,000 locations in Canada, there are over 556 Tim Hortons Doughnut Shops in the United States, and they can be found in Michigan, Ohio, New York, Maine, Pennsylvania, and other American states, mainly in the Northeast and the Great Lakes region. There was also a Tim Hortons on the Kandahar Canadian Military base in Afghanistan until late 2011. There are also a number of Tim Hortons in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In November 2011, Tim Horton's opened up the first of sevearl locations in the UAE, in Abu Dhabi at Mushrif Mall.
Ron Joyce's son married Horton's daughter, returning the Horton family to the company.
Death and aftermath 
Early on the morning of February 21, 1974, Horton was in a motor vehicle pursuit on the Queen Elizabeth Way from Toronto to his home in Buffalo after the Sabres had played in Toronto the night before, in his De Tomaso Pantera sports car. He was navigating a curve on the QEW during the vehicle pursuit when he lost control and hit a concrete culvert. The impact flipped the vehicle and Horton, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle. Horton's injuries proved to be fatal, as he was reported dead on arrival at the local hospital. A police officer pursuing Horton's vehicle said that he had been travelling at over 160 km/h (100 mph).
There were reports that Horton had consumed a considerable amount of vodka, and was rumoured to have been taking pain killers due to a jaw injury suffered in practice the day before. An autopsy report released in 2005 showed Horton had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit. The blood test also showed signs of amobarbital, which was possibly a residue from the Dexamyl pills that were found on Horton's body. The autopsy showed no indication Horton was taking painkillers as previously thought.
Soon after Horton's death, Ron Joyce offered Lori Horton (Tim's widow) $1 million for her shares in the chain, which included 40 stores by that time. Once she accepted his offer, Joyce became the sole owner. Years later, Mrs. Horton decided that the deal had not been fair and took the matter to court. Mrs. Horton lost the lawsuit in 1993, and an appeal was declined in 1995. Lori died in 2000. Tim and Lori left four daughters, Jeri-Lyn (Horton-Joyce), Traci (Simone), Kim and Kelly. Jeri-Lyn married Ron Joyce's son Ron Joyce Jr. and owns a store in Cobourg Ontario.
Awards and achievements 
- Named to NHL First All-Star Team in 1964, 1968, and 1969
- Named to NHL Second All-Star Team in 1954, 1963, and 1967
- 1961–62 – Stanley Cup champion
- 1962–63 – Stanley Cup champion
- 1963–64 – Stanley Cup champion
- 1966–67 – Stanley Cup champion
- 1977 – Inducted (posthumously) into the Hockey Hall of Fame
- 1982 – Inducted (posthumously) into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame
- 1996 – Number 2 retired by the Buffalo Sabres
- 1998 – Ranked number 43 on The Hockey News list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
- 2004 – Ranked number 59 in The Greatest Canadian list by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
See also 
- List of ice hockey players who died during their playing career
- List of NHL players with 1000 games played
- "Tim Horton". Mysteriesofcanada.com. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
- Double Double: How Tim Hortons Became a Canadian Way of Life, One Cup at a Time by Douglas Hunter
- Bailey, Budd (2010-06-04). This day in Buffalo sports history: a toast. The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2010-06-04.
- "Alumni Bio - Tim Horton". Toronto Maple Leafs. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
- John Iaboni. ""Honoured Players Process Different For Leafs" in Leafs Game Day, Issue No. 3, 2005-06". Toronto Maple Leafs. Retrieved 2007-04-06.
- Cole, Stephen (2006). The Canadian Hockey Atlas. Doubleday Canada. ISBN 978-0-385-66093-8 (0-385-66093-6) Check
- "Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials". Find A Grave. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
- "Tim Horton (1930 - 1974) - Find A Grave Memorial". Findagrave.com. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
- "Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame".
7. Quinlan, Don Tim Horton: From Stanley Cups to Coffee Cups, a biography of Tim Horton for ages 8+
- Tim Horton's biography at Legends of Hockey
- The Canadian Encyclopedia: Tim Horton
- Biography at Tim Hortons corporate site
- Tim Horton's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database