Cover photo for William Howland Carpenter's Obituary
William Howland Carpenter Profile Photo

William Howland Carpenter

September 22, 1929 — May 16, 2023

Chagrin Falls

William Howland Carpenter


WILLIAM H. CARPENTER (Bill) of Chagrin Falls, OH passed away on May 16, 2023 at the age of 93. 

He was the husband of the late Nancy for 57 years (nee Christiansen); survived by Edward L. Carpenter II (Beth Carpenter) of St. Simons Island, GA, Marguerite Carpenter of Chagrin Falls, OH and Lynn Carpenter (William Vogelgesang) of Ohio City, OH; grandfather to Hayley and Sam Carpenter and Nicki and Christy Welder, brother of the late Frank Carpenter of Cleveland Heights, OH and Elizabeth Listerman of North Andover, MA.

Born September 22, 1929, Bill graduated from University School in 1947, Princeton University in 1951 and University of Michigan Law School in 1954.  He served in the Defense Appellate Division of the Judge Advocate Generals Corps of the U.S. Army and was a trial lawyer with the Cleveland law firm Arter, Hadden, Wykoff and Van Duzer.

During that time, an associate lawyer in the firm, Mark McCormick, started the business known as International Management Group (“IMG”).   In 1966, Bill joined IMG as its General Counsel and helped to pioneer the field of sports management in the United States and the rest of the world.

When Bill joined IMG, the company had one office in Cleveland and seven employees.  Its only business was the representation of professional golfers.  When he retired in 1994, IMG had more than fifty offices throughout the world, more than 2,000 employees and was the largest sports management company in the world.

Bill used to joke that he had written more sports-related contracts than anybody who had ever lived and “the guy who’s second isn’t close”.

During his career at IMG Bill performed services on behalf of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Doug Sanders, Raymond Floyd, Greg Norman, Bob Charles, Dave Marr, David Duval, Fran Tarkenton, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Monica Seles, John Havlicek, Denny McClain, Frank Robinson, Dave McNally, Paul Warfield, Larry Csonka, and many other athletes.  He worked on behalf of a number of sports organizations including the All England Lawn, Tennis and Croquet Club, the United States Tennis Association, the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, the Atlanta Braves baseballteam (then owned by Ted Turner), and the Association of Tennis Professionals.  Bill was involved with the organization and sale of merchandising rights and television rights for many sport events including golf events (“The Skins Game”, U.S. Open Golf Championship), tennis events (“Wimbledon”, U.S. Open Tennis Championships), figure skating events (“Stars on Ice”), and motor racing events (“Cleveland Budweiser Grand Prix”). 

Bill was the first to win, on behalf of Dave McNally against the Baltimore Orioles, a baseball salary arbitration case involving an award in excess of $100,000.  Bill provided legal representation for Denny McClain when McLain was suspended by Major League Baseball in 1970 for ties to gambling.

In 1998, at the age of 69, Bill founded a new company, Carpenter 401(K) Mutual Fund Management Service Ltd. which he managed for four years.

Mr. Carpenter served on the Board of Directors for Booth Memorial Hospital.  He was a member of the Cleveland Racquet Club.

The family will hold private graveside services at Lake View Cemetery at a later date.  Memorial donations may be made to University School, 2785 SOM Center Road, Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022 or to Fairmount Presbyterian Church, 2757 Fairmount Boulevard, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118.


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