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Tim Horton

From Academic Kids

Miles Gilbert "Tim" Horton (January 12, 1930February 21, 1974) was a Canadian hockey player and founder of the Tim Hortons doughnut chain.

Tim Horton was born in Cochrane, Ontario and grew up playing hockey in the small leagues of northern Ontario. He was drafted into the NHL by the Toronto Maple Leafs, whom he played with for seventeen years and with whom he won four Stanley Cups. Horton later played with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. Known for his considerable strength and coolness under pressure, Horton was a hard working, durable Defenceman who was named three times to the NHL's First Team All-Star line-up (1964, 1968, 1969), and three times to the Second Team (1954, 1963, 1967). He also participated in 7 NHL All-Star games.

In 1964, Horton opened his first coffee and doughnut shop, named after himself, in Hamilton, Ontario. Horton added a few of his culinary creations to the initial menu. By 1965, Horton had partnered with investor Ron Joyce, who quickly took over operations and expanded the chain into a multi-million dollar franchise.

Early in the morning of February 21, 1974, while driving the QEW from Toronto to Buffalo in his Pantera sports car, a gift from Sabres' GM George "Punch" Imlach, Horton lost control, crashed, and was instantly killed. He was negotiating a traffic circle on the QEW where it intersected with #20. This traffic circle has since been removed in favor of a proper interchange. Eventually it was confirmed that Horton had been travelling at over one hundred miles per hour, had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol, and had been taking pain killers due to a jaw injury suffered in a hockey game the night before. The entire NHL went into mourning, especially the Buffalo Sabres, a group of young players in which Horton had played a crucial role in maturing into a group of stars that would reach the Stanley Cup finals the following season. Horton left behind a wife, four daughters and a son.

Horton was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1977, but his fame is also due to the chain of coffee and doughnut stores named after him.

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