SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Apr. 13, 2015) -- William Bianco Jr, a former racing commissioner and horse owner, who spent most of his life giving to others, suffered a stroke and passed away April 11 in San Jose at the age of 75.
A self-made man, lacking a formal education, Mr. Bianco taught himself chemistry and eventually co-founded Kinetic Systems Inc, which provided process systems for the semi-conductor, biotech, pharmaceutical, and food industries, most notably containment systems and chemicals for the start-up company Intel in the early 1970s.
After Mr. Bianco sold his company in 1998, he increased his involvement in thoroughbred racing and partnered in Fog City Stables, an ownership group with 35 horses. He and one of his sons, William Bianco III, bred and raced Cal-bred horses as Sunset Stables.
Then-Governor Gray Davis appointed Mr. Bianco to the California Horse Racing Board in March 2001. He served six years as a racing commissioner through January 2007, including one year as vice chairman in 2005.
During his years on the Board, Mr. Bianco consistently demonstrated his selfless and compassionate nature in the way he voted and through his generosity to others. When he learned that backstretch workers were having a difficult time completing income tax returns, he paid for a CPA to work with them. And when there were concerns about a possible “milkshaking” problem (horses with excessive total carbon dioxide levels) and the CHRB did not initially have funds for TCO2 testing, Mr. Bianco paid for the experimental testing, which eventually led to rules and a full-fledged TCO2 testing program that is still in place today.
Outside of horse racing, Mr. Bianco and his wife gave generously to many worthwhile causes, large and small, by financing a wing at a cancer hospital, donating generously to the San Jose Symphony, endowing a chair at Stanford University, and financially assisting employees at Kinetic Systems during especially difficult times.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marie; their four children, William Bianco III, Carol Ann, Richard, and Elizabeth; and by two grandchildren, Christopher and Justin. A memorial service is pending.