William Wynne grew up in Cleveland, living for a short time at the Parmadale Children's Village of St. Vincent de Paul, and graduating from West Technical High School. During WWII, he served as an aerial photographer for the U.S. Air Force, conducting photo reconnaissance in the Pacific Ocean theater. He flew 13 combat missions with the 3rd Emergency Rescue Squadron as an aerial photographer. Wynne also worked as a lab technician and as a camera installer on F-5 Lightning (Photo Recon P-38s) reconnaissance planes with the 26th Photo Recon Squadron. For this military service, Wynne was awarded two U.S. Presidential Unit Citations and eight Battle Stars.
After the war, he worked a three-month stint as a Hollywood dog handler before returning to Cleveland with his family. Thanks to Air Force connections and to his Air Force schooling in laboratory and aerial photography, he was hired by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (later called the NASA Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory), where he served happily for seven years before being offered a more lucrative position as a photographer for the Plain Dealer.
At the Plain Dealer he went on to become an award-winning photographer and photojournalist. An advocate for justice, Wynne was honored as part of the investigative journalism team that exposed the abuses at Lima State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in the 1970's. Wynne was inducted into the Ohio Press and Journalism Hall of Fame and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 1973.