William Wrigley, Jr. was the founder of Wrigley Gum, a former owner of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field, and the owner and developer of Catalina Island in California. He was born Sept. 30, 1861 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where his father was in the soap business. William dropped out of school in 1874 at only 13 to help in that business. He prided himself on being an enthusiastic salesman and promoter.
According to legend, he arrived in Chicago from Philadelphia in 1891 with $32 in his pocket. He started selling Wrigley Scouring Soap, a product made by his father. In the soap, he included baking powder as a premium to induce merchants and customers to buy the soap. But the baking powder proved to be a more popular product than the soap so he switched to selling the powder. The same thing happened when he included chewing gum as a premium with the baking powder, and then the gum proved more popular still so he focused on that product instead.