Los Angeles-born William Carter graduated from Stanford University in 1957. He became a professional photographer, writer and editor while concurrently pursuing fine art photography.
In New York, Carter worked as a book editor for Harper & Row, 1961-63. Based in Beirut 1964-66, he published in LIFE, the London Sunday Times, Geographical Magazine and others. In 1966-69 he freelanced from London, doing assignments for such clients as The New York Times, Women's Wear Daily, and TWA's Annual Report.
Returning to San Francisco in 1969, Carter turned to longer-term projects. He published his first book of text and pictures, "Ghost Towns of the West," in 1971