PORTLAND, Ore. — Bill Porter, the door-to-door salesman in Portland who was portrayed by William H. Macy in an Emmy-winning TV movie, has died at 81.
Porter spent decades trudging through Portland neighborhoods selling J.R. Watkins products, determined to make his way through life independently despite physical challenges. The Oregonian newspaper originally wrote about him at age 63, bringing him celebrity.
Porter had cerebral palsy, and spoke and walked with great difficulty. When he was young, the state considered him unemployable and suggested disability payments. He refused.
For years, he was Watkins’ top retail salesman in a four-state region. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.