Motorcyclists Rights Activist William Gannon Passed Away

The industry lost a Freedom Fighter. William (Bill) E. Gannon II, 59 of Quincy, formerly of Ashmont Hill, Dorchester, passed away at home on December 24th after losing his battle with cancer. He was a motorcycle enthusiast, a journalist, a talented photographer and a long time motorcyclists rights activist from Massachusetts. He was one of the founders of what would become the Motorcycle Riders Foundation located in Washington D.C. He was one of the first inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame. He worked tirelessly for the Modified Motorcycle Association of Massachusetts and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.

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17 Responses to “Motorcyclists Rights Activist William Gannon Passed Away”


  1. 1 Superglidesport Jan 1st, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    God Speed Bill. Enjoy the ride. No more traffic, red lights or cages down that next road.

  2. 2 pat stanek Jan 1st, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    may you ride with all the other brothers that have gone before you and especially my man, please send him and all the rest all my love forever

  3. 3 Pappi Jan 1st, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I don`t known William Gannon, but i feel sad he past a way. I hope he still ride up where he is. I have same problem whit my helfnes. And my English not good. Can only say, my hugs to hes family and relayted. Allways in me mind

  4. 4 Cathy Wagner Jan 1st, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Ride with the angels, ride with the angels

  5. 5 Jim Harper Jan 1st, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Worked with Bill at New England Life in Boston in the 80z. What an incredible person he was. He will be sadly missed.

  6. 6 Annie Mundy Jan 1st, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Ride Free, Bill, and thanks for all you did for motorcyclists!

  7. 7 Rob Jan 2nd, 2013 at 1:02 am

    R.I.P.

  8. 8 ROGUE Jan 2nd, 2013 at 8:50 am

    My Friend and Brother Billy “Irish Ryder” Gannon has left this world to ride with those who have left before us. He will be well received in Biker Heaven where he will be able to ride free.
    Billy and I go back to the 70s when we both were involved in fighting the mandatory helmet law for motorcyclist. Billy kept fighting for motorcycle rights even though he fought Cancer for many years.
    On a personal note I am going to miss him as his friendship and guidance has helped me through the years.
    Many of us have lost a Brother, some a Friend, But Every Motorcyclist a Freedom Fighter.
    My prayers go out to his family who he loved dearly.
    RIDE FREE MY FRIEND!!!

  9. 9 Jimmy McCallister Jan 2nd, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    it is a sad day when someone passes away that stands up for the rights of the bikers

  10. 10 Cris Sommer Simmons Jan 2nd, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I still can’t believe you are gone from this world and that I will never again here that voice with the crazy Boston accent. (Making fun of my Chicago accent!) There should be more like you. The example you set for all of us, to be good parents, good friends and to honor our parents will live on through us and our children. Thank you for being my friend for almost 25 years. I will never, ever forget you and all the good times we had. Those times are some of the highlights of my life. Pat and I are so thankful you were in our lives We love you Bwilly…

  11. 11 burnout Jan 2nd, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Bill will be missed. peace

  12. 12 Pat Simmons Jan 2nd, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Bill was such a great person, and was always there for all his many friends and family. His example as a father, husband, grandfather, friend, fighter for motorcycle rights, and incredible human being, inspired us all. Thanks for sharing your spirit with us Bill. We’ll never forget you, and we’ll do our best to carry on your wonderful legacy. Our love rides with you Brother .

  13. 13 martin twofeather Jan 2nd, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    GODSPEED BILL

  14. 14 Pepper Massey Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Bill and I worked together for many years and rarely have I seen such selfless dedication and passion. Bill wasn’t in the motorcyclists rights fight for personal gain or ego. He fought to defend a lifestyle he loved and was 100% committed to. He was tough, honest, and tenacious and earned the respect of his fellow riders and legislators alike.
    For all of his commitment to the MMA and MRF, he honored his family most. For Bill family always came first and he was never embarrassed to say so.
    His smile could light up a room and I watched him soften more than one women with his charms.
    He fought cancer with dignity and humor and I imagine we all thought he’d beat it.
    He was a powerful foe but an unshakable friend, and his heart was as big as the moon.
    I will miss my friend. I know he is in a better place though, feeling strong again and riding hard.

  15. 15 Defendant From Hell Jan 3rd, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Gannon stood on Principle. There are so few like that. He will be missed very much because of his fearless desire for Justice and Liberty. He acted when many others just talked.
    I met Bill recently, but being the down to earth guy he was, I felt like I had known him for decades. He had a way of being a friend that seemed to come very naturally for him; I hope I learned enough of that from him.
    Gannon left an indelible mark on this country, and on those that saw the value of what he did.
    I am proud to say he was also a BOLT member. I hope more people see his life as an example of how to act, not just a Rights activist to admire.
    Peace, Billy.

  16. 16 Mike Corbin Jan 7th, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Ride Free , you are loved and remembered !

  17. 17 Tony Pan Jan 7th, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I’ve known Bill since the mid-seventies and met him at a couple of MRF Meeting of the Minds. More recently, he was nominated to represent BOLT in Massachusetts and he wore his BOLT shirt proudly. He was one of the original, true “freedom fighters” in the country. His work in the MMA was instrumental in achieving many successes for tha organization. He was one of the founding members of the MRF and he was always working for biker’s rights. His love of family was a true measure of his character and compassion. On January 12th, former state senator Dave Zien and I will be presenting Early Times: The Birth of ABATE of Wisconsin. I’m dedicating this program to Bill Gannon. He planned on visiting Milwaukee one last time on his motorcycle for the HD 110th. He asked me to help find accomodations for him, and that was being set up, although each of his suspected that his health might not allow this one last “long” trip on a motorcycle. His family already cautioned him against such a trip. Still, I was hoping he could make it to Milwaukee one last time. He did celebrate the 100th Anniversary here, although we didn’t hook up at that time. We were going to have a BOLT Summit at my house during the 110th, and he, as well of many of us, were looking forward to that get together.
    Rest in Peace Bill. You made your mark here on earth and all of us are better for your being one of the biker community and the rights family.

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