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William Hanlon was the father of Mike Hanlon and a minor character in the novel, It.

Character Biography

Unlike many of the abusive fathers of Derry such as Alvin Marsh, Richard Macklin and Butch Bowers, Will was described to be a very loving and caring father, often giving advice to his son on a daily basis.

After his father's death when he was sixteen, joined the Derry National Army. Although he was too young to sign on, his mother fixed his birth certificate so he would be able to provide a financial allotment to take care of her and his younger brother, Philly Loubird. In the Army, Will experiences severe and intense cases of racial division.

During his time in the army, he became a member of the Black Spot. Before The Black Spot, Company E men (African-Americans all) went to town establishments (this was during Prohibition, so they were bars in all but name), where the lumberjacks and workingmen didn't seem to have a problem with them. However, the town's local political leaders were angry about African-Americans thinking it was okay to drink with white men, even poor and uneducated white men. They went to the commanding officer, who had a real problem; he couldn't very well let them into the gentlemen's club for white officers on base either. His solution was to give Company E a shack for them to use for their own club. The men of Company E worked hard to make it nice, and The Black Spot soon had good music and decent food...and the white people in town, especially the young men and women, noticed the fun to be had. Due to the bar's growing popularity, Derry's chapter of the Supreme Legion of Decency (equivalent to the Ku Klux Klan and made up largely of the local politicians who'd led to the creation of The Black Spot in the first place) purposely destroyed the Black Spot by burning it down (it's possible that they didn't intend to kill people but rather to just scare them, which is what Will chooses to believe). After escaping the inferno, William witnesses It seizing a member of the Legion of Decency. It was in the form a giant bird (the same bird that terrorized Mike in 1958 at the Ironworks ruin) that was "hovering" over the crowd with balloons hanging across its wings.

Will was a farmer, and he very fairly paid Mike and his mother earnings as well as the workers they hired. He was also an amateur historian of Derry with an impressive collection of photographs and mementos.

He died of cancer in 1962, four years after The Losers defeated It for the first time.

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