William Harrison "Bill" Frist, Sr. (born February 22, 1952) is an American physician, businessman, and politician. He began his career as an heir and major stockholder to the for-profit hospital chain of Hospital Corporation of America. Frist later served two terms as a Republican United States Senator representing Tennessee. He was the Republican Majority Leader from 2003 until his retirement in 2007.
Frist was born in Nashville, Tennessee to Dorothy Cate Frist and Thomas Fearn Frist, Sr. He is a fourth-generation Tennessean. His great-great grandfather was one of the founders of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and his father was a doctor and founded the health care business organization which became Hospital Corporation of America. Bill Frist's brother Thomas Frist Jr. became chairman and chief executive of Hospital Corporation of America in 1997.
Frist graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tennessee and then from Princeton University in 1974, where he specialized in health care policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 1972 he held a summer internship with Tennessee Congressman Joe Evins, who advised Frist that if he wanted to pursue a political career, he should first have a career outside of politics. Frist proceeded to Harvard Medical School, where he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine with honors in 1978. While at Harvard he shared an apartment with future-United States Congressman David Wu.