Born in Barron, Wisconsin, on September 11, 1931, Bill Stokes grew up on a small dairy farm between Barron and Rice Lake. He began his official writing career as an outdoor writer and general reporter for the Stevens Point Daily Journal, where he served as columnist, reporter and outdoor writer. In 1961 he moved to the Wisconsin State Journal, in Madison, where he wrote outdoor and personal columns, some of which were collected in a book “Ship The Kids On Ahead.” (added by Bill Stokes). In 1969, the Milwaukee Journal became his venue and as a feature writer and columnist, and he found new ground to cover in 1982 at the Chicago Tribune. After 11 years there, Bill retired to pursue free-lance projects.
During his long journalism career, Bill won many conservation awards, including the Ernie Pyle Memorial Award from Scripps-Howard News Service in 1972. His work has appeared in many national publications, among them Readers Digest, Outdoor Life and Sports Afield. He has compiled three anthologies of his newspaper writing and authored two children’s books.