William Murray was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. Before beginning his painting career, Murray served in the Coast Guard on the Great Lakes and trapped lobster in Nova Scotia. Murray holds a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an MFA from the University of Minnesota. From 1977 to 2003, Murray was the fine arts instructor at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater. In 2001 Murray’s work won first prize in Artist Magazine’s landscape competition. Murray lives in St. Paul.
"The North Shore has held a fascination for me since I first saw it as a child. The changing moods throughout night and day, the sheer power and unpredictability draws me to it. I sailed on Lakes Michigan and Superior for four years on an ice breaker and a search and rescue vessel. The love and fear I have experienced on the Great Lakes will forever inspire my artwork."