Williams is a 1987 graduate of Jacksonville State University, where he played trumpet in the marching band and served as a reporter and features editor for The Chanticleer campus newspaper. He worked for the Columbus Ledger Enquirer for two years before moving to Birmingham. He began working as a police beat reporter for the News in December 1989. After three years he was moved to the business section and remained there until September 2012.
Williams' brother Dwayne, a U.S. Army Major, was killed in the September 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. The tragedy tested Roy's faith and he went on to write a book, 911 God Help Us - A Journalist's Tale of Faith (2003), to share his experience. He also began giving motivational talks to groups based on that period in his life.
Williams and his wife, Patrice, have two children.
- Diel, Stan (August 9, 2013) "Former Birmingham News business reporter to launch radio show." The Birmingham News