|William R. Maples was born on August 7, 1937, in Dallas, Texas, to Agnes and William Maples. Young Bill Maples had an early fascination with life and death, and other things most would consider to be morbid.||Bill grew up with his mother and brother, Charles. The young Bill Maples rode in ambulances and watched autopsies.|
|When Maples was a child he lived across the street from the local sheriff who showed him the autopsy photos for the infamous Bonnie Parker of the murderous team Bonnie & Clyde.||As an English undergraduate at the University of Texas, he would study the morbid literature of Poe and Bierce. In his senior year at UT he met Professor Tom McKern, a forensic anthropologist, and his life changed forever. Maples decided to change his major from English to Physical Anthropology, which he proceeded to earn a master's and Ph.D. in.|
|Instead of being frightened by what he saw, he was fascinated.|
|Young Maples was also fascinated with mysteries. One of his favorite books was Seven League Boots by Richard Halliburton, which features the tale of the last of the Russian Romanov Tsars and the disappearance of his family.|
At the age of eleven Bill Maples father passed away, stricken with cancer, so Maples learns first-hand the meaning of death and loss at an early age.
|While in college he married his high school sweetheart, Margaret Kelly. And soon after that they would be off to live in Africa where Maples would study baboons as part of his thesis work.|