Willie James Perry was best known as the Birmingham Batman, a Good Samaritan who help stranded motorists and gave free rides to the citizens of the Magic City. He was also a devoted family man to his wife Dorothy, daughter Marquetta, and sister Grace.
Born December 14, 1940, Willie lived in the South Titusville area of Birmingham. As a teenager he worked at window distributor in Lakeview where he assembled cast-iron furniture as well as door and window units. He was later promoted there to Shop Manager.
Willie was known around his neighborhood for his humanitarian acts of kindness and lived by the motto “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
One day Willie heard about a group of men who stopped to help a woman whose car had broken down. However instead of helping her, the men raped her.
As a husband and a father, this event resonated so deeply with Willie that he decided to do his best to ensure that future situations like this would not happen again around Birmingham. He immediately proceeded to purchase a 1971 Thunderbird. Learn about the “Rescue Ship” here.
On January 24, 1985, Willie died accidentally of carbon monoxide poisoning while getting the “Rescue Ship” ready for the next mission. The spirit of Willie certainly lives on today through The Willie J. Perry Foundation and its missions, which is steered by his daughter Marquetta.
Remind everyone to “Make Every Day a Willie Perry Day.”
Willie Perry was featured on “That’s Incredible” in 1981! Watch the feature here: