Williams, a Philadelphia native, was born April 14, 1931. After graduation from West Philadelphia High School, Williams first entered Cheyney University then transferred to Pennsylvania State University. The first African-American basketball player in the University’s 61-year history, Williams later became team captain and led Penn State to its first tournament championship in 32 years. A scholar-athlete, he was also president of the Pre-Legal Society and secretary-treasurer of the Athletic Association. Returning to Philadelphia, Williams enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was elected to the honor society and earned his LL.D. Williams was elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature in 1968 and began his first term as a state representative in 1969. Williams was re-elected to six House terms until 1982, when he ran successfully as an independent Democrat for state senator. In the Senate, Williams was the minority chairman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and the chairman of a taskforce on violence as a public health concern. He retired from the Pennsylvania Senate in 1998, replaced by his son Anthony Hardy Williams. Williams has another son Clifford, two daughters Lisa and Lanna, and several grandchildren. Senator Williams died January 7, 2010 in Philadelphia.