Bill Porter was born with cerebral palsy but nonetheless became a door-to-door salesman in Portland, Oregon, struggling up to 10 miles a day on foot while selling household products for the Watkins Company. Friendly and persistent, in time Bill Porter became the top grossing Watkins salesman in the United States. A 1995 column about Porter in The Oregonian
was widely reprinted and made Porter a popular symbol of optimistic determination. Porter was featured in Reader's Digest
and on a segment of the ABC news magazine 20/20
, and his story was told in the 2002 TNT cable movie Door To Door
, with actor William H. Macy
as Porter and Kyra Sedgwick
as Porter's friend and assistant, Shelly Brady.