Bill was born inPasadena ,California. He sang his first solo at age 12 in one of his uncles churches. By the time he was 18 he had won two National religious singing contests. He was offered full scholarships from UCLA andAzusaPacificUniversity. He chose the latter one. He continued to study music and sang off and on around the country as a concert singer in Churches and cruise ships using an all Polish orchestra. Cruise Line was the Royal Viking from Norway.
Bill took acting lessons with Arnold Schwartzenegger. Their coach was Eric Morris. He had non speaking parts in ’Toons’ with Kim Bassinger and in ‘Endangered Species’ with Robt. Urich.
While singing in Anchorage Alaska at a large church he found a book at a library about sunken ships and what treasures they held. Returning toCaliforniahe started his own commercial diving company where he and his divers harvested sea urchins and sold them toJapan. It was in this year that he found his first shipwreck offSanta Cruz IslandnearSanta Barbara.
Bill acquired the fist-of-its-kind shipwreck salvage license issued by the city of Oceanside in California. He and his divers found the remains of the first Spanish ship to enterCaliforniawaters. It was the “Trinidad” circa 1540. Prior to Bill finding that wreck, Bill Burrid, producer of the TV show “I Search for Adventure,” produced a segment about theTrinidad. That same year Bill filed in U.S. Federal Court a claim forCalifornia’s best shipwrecks. It was met with stiff competition by the State ofCalifornia. There were several newspaper articles about Bill and his shipwreck treasure projects. Bill hired a Polish film crew and produced a documentary of theTrinidadand his work searching for it.
In 1976 Bill recorded his first album
The diving was not full time and Bill continued to sing. He recorded his first album “He Paid A Debt” inDallasTexason the “Rainbow” label. In 1980 Bill recorded his second album that was recorded inLos Angelesand as a result of creating a great album, produced by Vikki Carr’s arranger, Dave Williamson.. The album cost $65,000 . The title was “We Win.” It was one of the most played albums on Contemporary Christian Radio.
While Bill was performing inPalm Springsat the Biltmore and other night clubs and restaurants, Bill met Frank Sinatra and after Sinatra heard Bill sing, he asked him to sing at his Wedding Anniversary at a nightclub named Patti Z’s. In 1980 Bill started his own TV show in the desert named “Palm Springs Gold.” Both Jilly Rizzo and Sinatra were his guests. In that year and for years later, Bill sang at MGM Grand Casino inRenoandLas Vegas,NevadaUSA, Tropicana hotel, Sands hotel/casinoLas Vegasas well as the Coconut Grove inLos Angeles, Hollywood Palladium and many other prestigious places.
In 1980 Bill recorded his second album at United Western Studios inHollywood. It became one of the top ten most played radio station contemporary Gospel albums inAmerica.
In 1980 Bill sang with Kathy Lee Gifford on the Variety show TV telethon as well as with her at the “Angel Awards” at the Hollywood Palladium. Della Reese was the Hostess.
In 1981 thru 1985 Bill began to sing on the Royal Viking Cruise Lines out ofNorwayand was voted the #1 entertainer that year.
In 1985 Bill recorded his first single called “Let’s Love the Night Away” and it was played on someLos Angelesradio stations.
1985 Bill performed for various conventions inPalm Springsincluding the Buick Dealers of America.
In 1989 Bill created a company named ‘Golden Quest Inc’ and took the company public. He and his company secured a treasure salvage license in theBahamasatGreat Abacoand there he and his divers found ancient shipwrecks. In 1993 Bill wrote his first book titled ‘The Shipwrecks of Great Abaco.’ The book detailed the many wrecks and their history. Some treasure was found.
In 1994 Bill researched what he was told was one of the ten richest ships to sink, the ‘Verelst.’ The ship was an English East Indiaman that sank off the African country ofMauritius. The shipwreck author, Sir Robert Marx, wrote an article for a magazine and claimed the ship carried 740 lbs of uncut diamonds as well as a huge diamond said to be the size of a mans fist. I called Marx and asked him if he thought anyone found the wreck or even knew about it. He said no. I began my research and ended up inLondonat the India Office and Library. I was told the ships log book most likely was not there because there had been a big fire in the late 1800’s. I asked them to please look just in case. One hour later I was informed they found the book. No cameras are allowed in the library but the director made me a gift by allowing me to video tape the huge book which I did. I have that video. It shows the names of the passengers and crew and details the sinking of the ship. It was considered the richest ship fromEnglandto sink that season. There is much more to this story.
In 1997 Bill found a deserted island situated 100 miles south ofCubaand nearly half way betweenHaitiandJamaica. The Coast Guard notified him that they were abandoning the island and its lighthouse which is the highest lighthouseAmericahas ever built. The island is called Navassa and measures about 2 miles long and 1 mile wide. It is a guano island. Bill found an old law still on the books called “The Guano Act of 1856” which allows any American to file a guano fertilizer mining claim on any deserted island that is not under the lawful jurisdiction of any other government. Bill hired an International lawyer and filed the required document with the Secretary of State. Then, as newspapers picked up the story, a man named Jerry Patnode fromBaltimore,Md.Patnode was professor of economics at John Hopkins U. Patnode contacted Bill to say that his great grandfather, James Woodward, was the governor of the island in 1900 and was an owner. Patnode sold the island to Bill. Gave him a deed. WhenAmericaheard about this the Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, set about to stop Bill. Bill suedAmericaand the named defendants were; Bill Clinton, Bruce Babbitt, Madeline Albright and Warren Christopher. The case is still in court and ‘set aside without prejudice.’ Congressman Don Young and other congressmen encouraged him with his claim to Navassa and told him they would hold open hearings and bring in Government officials who were attempting to block Bill with his claim. They promised to amend the Guano Act to make it stronger for men like Bill who wished to make money in the guano fertilizer business.
In 1998 Bill ran for U.S. Congress in District 52 inSan Diego,Calif.against fellow neighbor Duncan Hunter. Bill lost.
In 2002 Bill ran for U.S. Congress in District 8 inUnion City,Tennessee. He lost his parties race by only 3,200 votes.
In 2003 Bill began his historic home renovation business inSt. LouisMissouri.
In 2003 Bill wrote his second book titled “Treasure Hunter.” It features his exploits around the globe as he chases lost treasures.
In 2004 Bill recorded some of his most popular Sinatra type songs and the CD was titled ‘New York,New York.’
In 2007 Bill traveled twice (April & August) toUkraine. Bill taught American culture and English at aUkraineUniversity. He was there for 9 months inUkrainetraveling, diving in theBlack Sea, singing in concert and making many new friends both socially and business.
In 2008 Bill ran forUSPresident as a ‘write-in’ candidate. Several newspapers did stories on him including the North County Times inSan Diego.
In 2011 Bill’s new book titled ‘Shipwrecks and Discoveries’ was published by Publish America.