Mason, the son of Nonna Lee and George W. Mason, grew up in Macon, Georgia. Bill was a star for the Sidney Lanier High School Poets basketball team. After working for a while for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he enrolled at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia and also played for the Lions basketball team there. He graduated summa cum laude and has been elected to the Piedmont College Athletics Hall of Fame.
Mason then served with the U.S. Army in Germany before returning home to teach at Forsyth County High School in Cumming, Georgia. He earned a master's degree in botany at the University of Arizona on fellowship, then entered medical school at the University of Tennessee. He completed his M.D. in 1966 and interned at Richland County Hospital, Columbia, South Carolina before coming to Birmingham for a residency in dermatology at UAB Hospital, which he completed in 1970. He opened his practice in Dothan, Houston County and was eventually appointed a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. He returned to Birmingham after his retirement from practice in 1999.
Mason and his partner Bobby Scharfenstein were lifelong art collectors and patrons of the Wiregrass Art Museum and the Birmingham Museum of Art. Together they established the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art at Piedmont College in 2011 and endowed it with their wide-ranging collection of 19th and 20th century American landscape paintings, sculpture and art glass.
Mason died in 2014.
- "Bill Mason" obituary (November 17, 2014) The Birmingham News