Bill was born September 18, 1927. He received his Ph.D. in physics in 1958 from Stanford University. He then joined the very active privately-funded fusion research group at General Atomics in San Diego, where he subsequently became director of its Plasma Turbulence Laboratory.
In the early 1960s he moved to the University of Texas at Austin, where he spearheaded the establishment of two plasma physics and fusion research centers: the Fusion Research Center and the Institute of Fusion Studies.
Bill passed away on December 14, 2016 at the age of 89.