William Vinson was born in White Oak, South Carolina, on 22nd December, 1874. When he was a child the family moved to a farm near Sherman, Texas.
After attending Austin College he studied law under Judge W. Wilkins. He eventually became a lawyer and in 1899 became a partner in Wilkins, Vinson and Batsell in Sherman.
In 1909 Vinson moved to Houston where he formed a law partnership with E. W. Townes. After the death of Townes, he joined forces with James Elkins. The new law firm of Vinson and Elkins became very involved in the oil and gas industry in Texas. This included taking shares in oil speculations instead of fees. They were helped by the growing demand for petroleum during the First World War. Eventually Vinson and Elkins became the largest law firm in Houston. Vinson was also a director of the Great Southern Life Insurance Company.
Vinson was also a key member of the Suite 8F Group. The name came from the room in the Lamar Hotel in Houston where they held their meetings. Members of the group included Lyndon B. Johnson, George Brown and Herman Brown (Brown & Root), Gus Wortham (American General Insurance Company), Jesse H. Jones (multimillionaire investor in a large number of organizations and chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation), James Abercrombie (Cameron Iron Works), James Elkins (American General Insurance and Pure Oil Pipe Line), William Hobby (Governor of Texas) and John Connally (Governor of Texas). Alvin Wirtz and Edward Clark, were also members of the Suite 8F Group.
William Vinson died on 26th October, 1951.