William Kent, along with his brother Ed, formed the Kent Drum Company in 1947 with a focus to create student-level kits to encourage music making at all economic levels. The company offered professional-level drums as well as other products such as the tambourine. William was always proud that a common story told in the industry by company leaders and professional drummers alike, was of a Christmas morning surprise in 1964 or 1965 for the young Ringo want-to-be, a new Kent Drum set under the tree! The company closed in 1977 to allow Ed and William to retire. Drum Paradise, their retail shop next to the factory, closed the following year. William passed away on December 11, 2014, one month after his 99th birthday.