William Schock was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil on November 3, 1913. His family soon moved to Cleveland, Ohio where bill attended public school. Upon graduation from Lincoln High School in 1931, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Cleveland School of Art. Due to family hardships Bill did not accept the scholarship and, instead, became employed as a window display designer in a downtown department store. At the same time, he attended evening art classes at the John Huntington Polytechnic Institute where he became interested in graphic art. Schock began showing at the Cleveland Museum of Art May Show in 1931 where he was a frequent exhibitor and prize-winner until his death.
in 1942, Schock joined the armed forces. He became a corporal with the 84th Army Engineer Camouflage Battalion and served in France, Germany and North Africa, where he was commissioned to do two paintings for the USO Lounge in Oran, Algeria. After the war, Schock enrolled in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School with the aid of the G.I. Bill, studying there with Karl Zerbe and Ben Shahn. He majored in painting and received the senior class award for drawing. Schock painted large-scale human figures with stark, monumental presence.
Upon graduation in 1949, William Schock returned to Cleveland, began teaching and drawing at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and exhibiting locally and nationally. In September 1950, he joined the faculty of the School of Art at Kent State University, teaching courses in painting, drawing, design, printmaking and anatomy.
In 1951, Schock married Hazel Janicki. The following year they traveled extensively in the southwestern United States, where both became interested in Native American cultures. Bill received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Kent State University in 1955 and eventually attained the rank of full professor, going on to teach for 25 years. In the 1960s, the Schocks made several trips to Europe which were inspirational in a number of works produced during this period.
William Schock's paintings and drawings figured in important national juried exhibitions and numerous local and regional shows where he won many awards. Most of his owrk is in private collections; the rest may be found in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Akron Art Institute, the Canton Art Institute and the Butler Institute of American Art, among others. Schock was affiliated with the Fairweather Hardin Gallery of Chicago.
William Schock, along with his wife Hazel Janicki and his father were fatally injured in an automobile accident in Florida on New Year's Day, 1976. Both Schock and Janicki were recognized as being among the finest contemporary artists from the Ohio and the Midwest area.