Jeffers, (William Martin) Bill(1876–1953) railroad executive; born in North Platte, Nebr. He worked for the Union Pacific Railroad for 63 years, starting as a callboy at age 14, eventually becoming president (1937–46) and vice-chairman (1947–53). He introduced low-cost passenger service and made the Union Pacific profitable through his legendary dedication to the railroad and his hands-on management style. During World War II he directed the synthetic rubber industry for the War Production Board (1942–43).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.