William D. Snider was born in Salisbury, North Carolina, in 1920. He entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1937 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1941. After graduation, he returned to Salisbury and worked briefly for the Salisbury Evening Post. Snider soon enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in China, India, and Burma during his three years of World War II service. After returning to the states, Snider returned to work at the Salisbury Evening Post. In 1948, he was hired as North Carolina Governor R. Gregg Cherry’s private secretary. The following year, Snider married the former Flo Lides. He also served in the administration of W. Kerr Scott, the subsequent governor, as his special assistant.
In 1951, Snider and his family moved to a Greensboro, where he began work as the associate editor of the Greensboro Daily News. Snider frequently wrote editorials for the newspaper that promoted racial equality and was also an active participant in the interracial Conversation Club. In 1969, Snider served as president of the National Conference of Editorial Workers. By 1972, he had been appointed editor of both the Greensboro Daily News and the afternoon paper, the Greensboro Record. He was named vice president of the Greensboro News Company, publisher of both dailies. Snider retired from the newspaper business in 1982, but continued to contribute to the editorial section of the Greensboro News & Record. He has written two books since his retirement. His first book, Helms and Hunt: the North Carolina Senate Race, 1984, was published in 1985 and Light on the Hill: A History of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was published in 1992.