Walter Wilkinson Williams was born on January 28, 1892. He attended Cornell University from 1909-1915. He received a bachelor of arts in 1913 from the Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences. In 1915, he received a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine also from Cornell University. He married Glady Howell Warrick in 1916. They had two children Walter Jr., (1918) and Rosalind (1923). Walter Jr. was a 1941 graduate of Cornell University.
Williams practiced veterinary medicine for thirteen years. From 1920-25 he studied bovine semen and spermatic pathology. He collaborated on his father Walter Long Williams' book
The Diseases of the Genital Organs of Domestic Animals. In 1928, at the age of 36, he decided to go back to school in order to receive a medical degree. He published a book entitled Sex Hygiene and Reproduction of Cattle, in 1929, which helped to finance his education. He graduated in 1933, from the Albany Medical College, where he received his doctorate in medicine. After this he moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, where he served as house officer at Springfield Hospital. By 1940, he had devoted his medical practice to the study of infertility and sterility.
From 1944-46, during World War II, he served as a surgeon with the rank of Lieutenant Commander for the U.S. Navy. For many years after the war, he was a clinical geneticist. He was awarded the Gold Medal Award in 1951, by the American Medical Association for an exhibit on the diagnostic and prognostic procedures of fertility and sterility. In 1953, he was given an honorary mention by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for an exhibit on the diagnosis of fertility. Between 1925-1975 he published approximately 100 articles on male and female sterility. By 1977, he had published 30 more. He is author of
Sterility: The Diagnostic Survey of the Infertile Couple, first published in 1953 with two subsequent editions. From 1958-1961, he served as the editor of the International Journal of Fertility. In 1977, at the age of 84, he published, An Insight into Marital Infertility. His accomplishments include co-founding the American Fertility Society in 1944. He was an honorary member, founder and past president of the American Society for the Study of Sterility. He was also an honorary member and founder of the International Fertility Association. He was an honorary member of the Sociedad de Obstetricia y Gynecologia de Venezuela, the Societats Gynecologica et Obstertrica Italica, and the American College of Theriogenologists. He was a member of the American Medical Association, Hampden District Medical Society, the New England Society of
Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
He died in 1988 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.
For more biographical information, please see "Contributions to Infertility Studies" in the biographical series of this collection. This is an autobiographical sketch included in Part IV of the third edition of his book,
Sterility: The Diagnostic Survey of the Infertile Couple.