The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






George Williams

For the biologist George Williams see George C. Williams; for the U.S. Attorney General George Williams see George H. Williams.

Sir George Williams (1821-1905), was the founder of the YMCA.

Williams was born on October 11, 1821, on a farm in Dulverton, Somerset, England. As a young man, he described himself as a "careless, thoughtless, godless, swearing young fellow," but eventually became a devout Christian.

He went to London and worked in a draper's shop. Appalled by the terrible conditions in London for young working men, he gathered a group of his fellow drapers together to create a place that wouldn't tempt young men into sin. That place was the YMCA.

Williams was knighted in 1894 by Queen Victoria. After his death in 1905, he was commemorated by a stained-glass window in the nave of Westminster Abbey. Sir George Williams is buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.

Last updated: 05-07-2005 04:55:22
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04