Ray Robinson Williams was born on March 5, 1899 near Easley, South Carolina. During childhood he became totally blind.
He graduated with honors from the School for the Blind at Cedar Springs, South Carolina, and was awarded a University of South Carolina scholarship. In 1923, he graduated magna cum laude (B.A.). In 1924 he received the Master of Arts and Bachelor of Law degrees. In 1926, he formed the firm of Williams and Henry in Greenville.
Ray Williams was married to Genevieve Castleman Groom who was his devoted wife and legal assistant. They had three children: Mrs. Beecher Allan Bartlett (Genevieve); Mrs. Horace L. Harper, Jr. (Mary); and Ray R. Williams, Jr.
Notwithstanding his handicap, Ray Williams maintained a wonderful philosophy, “What others can do, I can do also.” He was a formidable advocate in trial work, asked for no concession and gave none.
Williams served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from Greenville 1937–1940; in the South Carolina Senate 1941–1952; and on the Board of Directors of several public agriculture entities.
He was a USC Trustee from 1937 to 1948.