R.M. Williams is a name that conjures up images of an iconic Australian look. The brand itself that is famous for its clothing and boots dates back to 1932, but what about the man himself?
Reginald Murray Williams (1908 – 2003) left school at 14. This didn’t deter him in any way as he created an incredible brand that’s still synonymous with Australia today. R.M. was married twice and fathered a brood of nine children in total. He made his fortune from the work boots that were first worn by stockmen in the outback. Nowadays, those same styles are worn by people from all walks of life.
R.M. was unique in the fact that he managed to combine his incredible head for business with the skills and interests of a bushman. In fact, even though he became one of Australia’s richest men, he eventually gave up the trappings of modern, palatial living to go back to the bush. There he stayed right up until the ripe old age of 95.
This amazing man had various other talents too. He was an author, historian, horseman and more. These achievements are such a long way from where R.M. began. He left home as a teenager with only a few belongings packed in his swag. From there, he wandered throughout the outback living on animals he caught. During the Great Depression, he designed a pair of boots after learning how to work leather from a man named Dollar Mick. R.M. eventually sold the first ever pair of his iconic boots in 1933 for the sum of 20 shillings.
Incredibly, R.M. literally struck gold when he found a huge deposit in a mine he bought for a bargain price. Although he could then afford anything in life that he wanted, he just wished to live a simple life.