William G. Helis Sr.

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William George Helis Sr.
Born(1886-10-17)October 17, 1886
DiedJuly 25, 1950(1950-07-25) (aged 63)
Resting placeMetairie Cemetery
ResidenceNew Orleans, Louisiana
OccupationOilman, Racehorse owner/breeder, Racetrack owner
Known forHelis Stock Farm
Spouse(s)Bessie Felch
ChildrenSon: William George Jr.,
Daughters: Virginia, Marie, Esther
AwardsFair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame (1991)

William George Helis Sr. (October 17, 1886 – July 25, 1950) was an impoverished Greek emigrant to the United States who made a fortune in the oil business and who became a major owner/breeder of Thoroughbred racehorses and racetrack owner. In his obituary, the Pittsburg Press called William Helis "one of the amazing figures of the American oilfields." [1]

A resident and legal domicile of New Orleans, Louisiana,[2] William Helis died in Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. His remains were brought home to New Orleans where he was interred in the Metairie Cemetery.[3] His mausoleum was built by American architect and sculptor, Albert Weiblen.[4]

In 1991, William Helis was posthumously inducted into the Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame.[5]

William George Jr. became managing partner of his father's various oil properties and was also heavily involved in Thoroughbred horse racing.