Bill Clifford was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He was first introduced to Oklahoma in 1959 when he traveled to Fort Sill in Lawton for ROTC training in the US Army Artillery. Bill enjoyed Oklahoma so much that, after graduating from Boston College, he moved back to Oklahoma City to stay. He was twenty-two and the year was 1960.
Once Bill settled in Oklahoma City, he got involved in Y.C.W. or Young Christian Workers, a catholic group that was focused on social activism. Bill became president of the group then, in the fall of 1960, he began participating in the Oklahoma City sit-ins. During that time, Bill met and courted fellow Y.C.W. member Sue Russell and they married in January 1962.
Bill spent his whole career helping people by bringing jobs to communities as a staff member then director of Economic Development. He staffed the Special Joint House and Senate Economic Development Committee for Oklahoma Legislative Service Bureau; devised and implemented economic diversity strategy for sub-state council of governments in Southwest Oklahoma; staffed Legislative review that consolidated multi-agency capabilities to form the Oklahoma Department of Commerce; increased business loan fund availability in Oklahoma Finance Authorities; created economic development parks authority for School Land Commission; coordinated interdisciplinary S.O.D.A. staff to meet program needs of 53-member government consortium; and last but not least, helped create 220 jobs and finance an industrial park in a city of 3,000 in three years from office start-up.
Bill has worked for Chamber of Commerce in Fairview and Chickasaw Oklahoma. He moved on to Ardmore and became Executive Director for S.O.D.A., Southern Oklahoma Development Association. He later worked for S.W.O.D.A, Southwestern Oklahoma Development Assocation. Bill also worked for the Oklahoma Legislative Service Bureau at the state capital and in economic development in Ponca City and for the city of Stroud.
Bill retired in 2003 and lives now in Oklahoma City with his wife Sue. They have been married for fifty-four years. Retirement hasn’t slowed Bill down. He and Sue both volunteer with various community centered organizations. His current passion is increasing voter participation throughout the state of Oklahoma. (Seen below with director and daughter, Julia Clifford)