Bill Gifford is a native of Atlanta. He attended Mercer University School of Law. He was engaged in the private practice of law in Macon for many years and also served as a federal prosecutor and Senior Litigation Counsel with the United States Department of Justice. During his career, Gifford was president of the Macon Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and an arbitrator/mediator for the United States District Court Middle District of Georgia. He has been a member of the Macon Bar Association and the William Augustus Bootle Inn of Court. In 2008 Gifford was named by the Macon Bar Association as its Lawyer of the Year.
Gifford has also served for many years on the board of the Vine Ingle Little League where he was also a coach. He has been president and vice president of the Central Georgia Council of the Boy Scouts of America, chairman and vice chairman of the Macon Salvation Army, chairman of the board for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Georgia, and chairman of the Citizens Review Panel for Bibb County Juvenile Court. He also served as chairman for the Middle Georgia Center for Racial Understanding.
Gifford is married to Bonnie and has three sons, two of which are attorneys in Atlanta.