Billy "The Grinner" Ring is a character from Ian Fleming's novel Goldfinger.

Novel biography

At some point, Ring joined the Machine, a crime syndicate based out of Chicago, Illinois. The Machine formed an alliance with Unione Siciliana, who served as the gang's financial backers.

At some early stage in his career, somebody cut off Ring's lower lip, giving him a permanent smile.

While involved with the Machine, they got friendly with women, traded hemp, and partook in watching races on the racetrack.

By the 1940s, the gang ravaged Chicago, leaving corpses wherever they went. Between fights, they would frequently hide at the Little Bohemia Lodge near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

By the 1950s, the gang grew tired of the violence, and when Ring became the leader of the Machine, they unanimously decided to leave the "fireworks business".

Ring would later believe that the old days were gone because of the notorious gangsters like Big Jim Colosimo, Johnny Torrio, Dion O'Banion, and Al Capone, and described their fate as "pushing up the morning glory by the fence".

In June 1957, Ring travelled to New York City and collaborated with gangsters Helmut M. Springer, Jed Midnight, Jack Strap, Mr. Solo, and Pussy Galore. All of the gangsters had been selected by SMERSH treasurer Auric Goldfinger, codenamed as "Mr. Gold", to rob Fort Knox in Kentucky.

During the robbery, where Pussy Galore and her gang impersonated nurses, Jed Midnight's men impersonated Red Cross doctors, while Midnight, Ring, Mr. Solo, and Jack Strap wore robes signifying their status as senior physicians to falsely mirror their leadership status.

After the raid failed due to James Bond's message to Felix Leiter, Goldfinger personally executed Ring by gunshot, along with other mob bosses he hired for the job.

Physical description

Billy is described as being around 40 years old, and having a pale, pear-shaped baby face described as being "out of a nightmare", downy skin, a soft thatch of straw-colored hair, tawny brown eyes (instead of pale blue), and a permanent false smile because his lower lip had been cut off, giving him trouble pronouncing the letters "b", "m", and "p", so he had to bring his lower lip over his teeth to pronounce the letters.


  • The Machine would hide out at the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin. This was the hiding spot of a real-life Chicago gang: the Dillinger Gang.

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