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Who is William Delbert Gann?

The complete biography of the American trader and founder of the Gann Theory, W.D.Gann, including his childhood, career, predictive skills, successes.

Biography of W.D. Gann


William Delbert Gann, considered one of the foremost analysts of financial markets and a world-renowned American trader, was born on June 6, 1878, in the Lufkin county of Texas as the child of an ordinary farming family. His father was a farmer working in cotton fields. Spending a significant portion of his childhood in cotton fields, Gann began to observe fluctuations in cotton prices and market dynamics. William joined the family business after dropping out of school starting from the 3rd grade, and he became the most prominent among the cotton producers in his small town. His observational skills and mathematical aptitude helped him develop his own special methods for predicting cotton prices. In this period where farming was widespread in every corner of his small town, Gann's greatest interest was in determining cotton prices. The time he spent in cotton fields fueled his interest in commodity markets, and his ability to forecast cotton prices during this period triggered his desire to delve deeper into the complexities of financial markets in the future. Putting great effort into understanding and predicting the fluctuations of cotton prices, Gann increasingly nurtured his interest in commodity markets. His desire to predict changes in cotton prices is considered a step towards understanding the movements of future financial instruments.

In times of old, laborers were harvesting cotton in the cotton fields of Texas.
The Cotton field in Texas. Source of image: The Portal to Texas History

The observations he gained while working in cotton fields at a young age propelled Gann towards stepping into the realm of broader financial markets. These experiences shaped his analytical thinking style and strengthened his future financial analysis abilities. The childhood period of William Delbert Gann is significant as it laid the foundation for his early interest in commodity markets and his observational skills. The experiences and curiosity he acquired during this time paved the way for his great success in the field of financial analysis in the future. Being born as the son of a cotton farmer was just one of the initial steps that shaped his future interests and abilities.


Business life, Forecasting Skills and Achievements:

As Gann grew older and desired to immerse himself further in the financial world, he moved to New York at the age of 24 and began working at a brokerage firm. In 1902, at a young age, he took his first step into financial trading. Gann's interests extended beyond just financial matters; he also had a spiritual side. He had a profound interest in the Holy Bible and considered it the greatest guide in his life. Gann was not only involved in analyzing financial markets but also had a fascination with the wisdom of ancient civilizations. His studies of ancient Greek and Egyptian cultures enriched his analytical thinking style and provided him with different perspectives. Additionally, as a member who reached the 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite Freemasonry, he explored a world filled with profound thoughts and symbols.

The portrait of the globally renowned American commodity trader and founder of the Gann Theory, William Delbert Gann.
The founder of the Gann Theory, W.D. Gann

Gann started his business career with a humble step and quickly established his own brokerage firm, WD Gann & Company, in New York in 1908. Initially making predictions only for stock markets, his fame rapidly spread due to accurate predictions he made about social events. In 1919, he began publishing the daily market newsletter called The Supply and Demand Newsletter. His publication in 1923, titled The Busy Man's Service, left a mark in the trading world by providing detailed trade recommendations.

Gann not only made statistically reliable predictions but also demonstrated an approach that integrated mathematics, geometry, and astrology into his trading analyses. He particularly used astrology more openly and intimately in his predictions, even explaining in letters to one of his students how he analyzed the coffee market using planetary cycles. His accurate predictions prior to the 1929 Great Depression and his ability to forecast the U.S. presidential election further elevated his popularity. He achieved significant successes in various markets such as stocks, bonds, commodities, and currencies. He shared his experiences in books like “Truth of the Stock Tape” and “45 Years in Wall Street”.

After retiring, Gann returned to Florida and established a consulting firm, where he began disseminating the teachings of the Gann Theory. His books, “How to Make Profits in Commodities” and “45 Years in Wall Street”, contain valuable insights for the stock market and provide investors with strategic perspectives. William Delbert Gann passed away on June 18, 1955, in New York. His theories and analytical approach continue to play a significant role in the analysis and trading of financial markets even in the present day.

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