This week, San Antonio lost one of its most influential environmental activists. Bill Sinkin, a local icon and community leader, died Monday at the age of 100. William "Bill" Rashall Sinkin is remembered for making HemisFair ’68 World Fair in SA a reality and for serving as the fair’s first president. Sinkin also trailblazed on the solar energy front, founding Solar San Antonio in 1999, a nonprofit that offers affordable renewable and alternative energy options. In 2001, Sinkin founded the Metropolitan Partnership for Energy, now known as Build San Antonio Green, an organization that promotes resource-efficient building methods.
Bill Sinkin via Current Archives
Growing up with Russian Jewish heritage in SA during the mid-twentieth century, Sinkin was known for striving to bring racial equality to his community. Sinkin detailed his own struggles with prejudice in a 2005 memoir series for the San Antonio Express-News. Sinkin attended San Antonio Junior college for two years and graduated with a degree in business from The University of Texas at Austin in 1934 and later began a successful career in banking.
According to previous reporting by the Current, at Sinkin’s 99th birthday celebration—which included a requirement all guests must come donning a bow-tie, one his aesthetic trademarks— former Congressman Charlie Gonzalez summed up Sinkin’s decades of service to San Antonio, saying, “A day without Bill Sinkin is a day without sunshine.”
Sinkin is survived by his two sons, Richard and Lanny, who is at the helm of Solar San Antonio and follows in his father’s footsteps as a community activist.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.