Bill Welsh was a pioneering KTTV broadcaster and a longtime president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. He was often introduced simply as "Mr. Hollywood."
Welsh had his star on the Walk of Fame placed discreetly about a block west of Vine Street. He had declined a prestigious location near Mann's Chinese Theatre, scoffing: "No. I don't want 3 to 4 million people coming in from out of town every year and saying, 'Who's he?' "
President of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce from 1980 to 1990, Welsh also served on the Project Area Committee for Hollywood redevelopment and was a key force in pushing the renovation plan through the Los Angeles City Council in 1986.
It was Welsh who raised $150,000 in 1983 for a crucial feasibility study, and Welsh who called Mayor Tom Bradley and other community leaders together at a Brown Derby lunch to convince them that redevelopment could — and should — happen.
Initially, the program was highly controversial and opposed by many, who felt massive redevelopment including new hotels, restaurants and high-rise office towers would disenfranchise the poor and minorities. But Welsh never wavered in his campaign to wipe out the grime, prostitution and seediness into which Hollywood Boulevard had sunk and to replace it with glittery and profitable new business and entertainment centers.
"I think it's an accepted fact that if you're not moving ahead, you're falling back, you're losing ground," Welsh told The Times in early 1987. "I think redevelopment is going to be so well done that even our loudest critics . . . are going to say, 'I don't know why I opposed it. . . . It turned out to be wonderful.' "