Bill Besley was born on April 14, 1964 in College Park, Maryland, and his family moved to Columbia, South Carolina, when Bill was in elementary school. He graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1982 and from Presbyterian College in 1986, excelling in academics and tennis. While at Presbyterian College, Bill was All-American in Tennis, a two-time Academic All-American, president of Kappa Alpha Fraternity, and Magna Cum Laude graduate. He was a past member of the Presbyterian College Board of Visitors and served as an Adjunct Professor teaching a civil trial practicum course.
In 1989, Bill graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He practiced law in Columbia for 28 years and was a founding member of Howser, Newman and Besley. Bill was held in the highest regard by colleagues and clients. He also served in leadership roles in the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association and was named one of the top attorneys in South Carolina by South Carolina Super Lawyers each year from 2010 to 2018. In addition to his devotion to his family and his profession, Bill continued to enjoy tennis and played competitively throughout his life.