William Bowers was a reporter in Long Beach, California before becoming a screenwriter and specializing in writing comedy westerns and also turned out several thrillers. His first credited screenplay was My Favorite Spy in 1942.
During World War II Bowers served in the United States Army Air Forces where he met Arch Hall Sr.. Bowers later wrote a screenplay based in his experiences called The Last Time I Saw Archie where Jack Webb played Bowers.
His career noticeably picked up after his Oscar nomination for the gritty Gregory Peck Western The Gunfighter in 1950, leading to such assignments as the remake of My Man Godfrey in 1957 and The Sheepman in 1958.
Bowers produced the last film that he wrote, the Western parody Support Your Local Sheriff!. He also had a bit part as an actor in The Godfather Part II.