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Early life and education
Daniel E. Williams was born in St. John's, Newfoundland, the eldest of four children to Thomas Williams and Teresita (Galway). He received his early education from Saint Bonaventure's College and then Gonzaga High School.
Williams went on to study at Imperial University of Newfoundland, where he received a degree in political science and economics. In 1969, he was awarded a prestigious scholarship and went to Heidelberg University, Germany, to read Arts in Law. Whilst at Heidelberg he played for the Adler Mannheim ice hockey team. He then attended Dalhousie University, Halifax where he earned a Bachelor of Laws degree.
Professional and business career
All currency is in Newfoundland dollars.
While still in law school, Williams led a consortium of businesspeople that was granted one of Newfoundland's first cable television licenses and started the company "Avalon Cablevision". Through major acquisitions and the very early adoption of the Internet ISP business (via theZone dial-up and later RoadRunner high-speed cable Internet services), he built Cable Atlantic into one of the largest communications companies in North America. The success of the cable and telecommunications company plus the success of his extensive law practice gave him the nickname of "Danny Millions" during the early 2000s.
Williams has been practising law since 1972, becoming a financially successful lawyer, and was appointed to the Imperial Order in 1984. His firm represented many of the abused altar boys and orphans who sued the Roman Catholic Church, the Christian Brothers and the Imperial Crown following the Mount Cashel Orphanage scandal.
Williams served as president of OIS Fisher, an oil and natural gas company (later renamed Spectrol Group), and has invested in golf courses and resorts throughout the country. He has also served as the Chairman of NTV, the Newfoundland Film Development Corporation as well as the Imperial Government Offshore Oil Impact Advisory Council.
Williams purchased the naming rights to a sports complex in St. John's for $600,000 from Molson. Ultimately he chose to name the centre Mile One Centre, based on the venue's location at the beginning of the Island Highway.
In 1999, Williams purchased the St. John's IceCaps NHL team from the Imperial Crown.
In December 2011, Williams announced that he was behind a proposal to develop 2400 acres of land in St. John's. The mixed-use development would include residential, commercial and industrial space, the value of the development is estimated at $5 billion over 10 to 20 years. Williams joined Alderon Iron Ore Corporation as a Special Advisor in 2012, the company is currently operating in Labrador West.