Portland icon Bill Porter dies

Portland door-to-door salesman legend Bill Porter celebrates Christmas at 80 years old.
Portland door-to-door salesman Bill Porter.

In the end, his body just didn't have the strength to fight.

Portland icon Bill Porter, whose inspirational story of battling cerebral palsy, was told in the movie "Door to Door" starring William Macy, died Wednesday after a short illness.

"It wasn't the disease that he fought that killed him," his long-ime friend, Shelly Brady, tells KATU. It was a regular infection.

Brady says that he was admitted to Legacy Mt. Hood Medical Center on Monday and died early Wednesday morning.

"It was very quick," she says. "And then he was gone. He led a long, inspiring life.

"He will be missed. He meant so much to so many."

Porter was told early in life that he would never be able to work. He chose to ignore those pronouncements and became a door-to-door salesman.

He would walk almost seven miles every day peddling wares for JR Watkins Company. They originally rejected his application, hiring him only after he agreed to take what was considered the least profitable route.

He found success whichever route he took, becoming an inspiration not just to others with cerebral palsy but to people from all walks of life.

His story was told by the Oregonian, Reader's Digest, People Magazine, in the television movie and several times on KATU.

Brady says that funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

We will update the story as more information becomes available.