W.W. Bass was born in Warren County, Tennessee. His father, Magnus Thomas Bass, operated the Tennessee Woolen Mills there from about 1904 until his death in 1938. His grandfather, William Bass, was a widely known preacher who pastored many Baptist churches in Wilson County. When W.W. Bass was born, his grandfather put a silver dollar in his hand, and when W.W. clutched the coin, his grandfather said, “He’s going to save his money.” W.W. was educated in the McMInnville city schools. He later received degrees from the University of Tennessee-Knoxvlle and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He taught English at Carson Newman College for thirty-nine years, about half of them as departmental chairman. On December 24, 1938, he married Madeline Walsh. They had two sons and five grandchildren. He was a long time member of First Baptist Church of Jefferson City. He always felt Jefferson County was one of the richest in history and was thankful that he belonged to an organization that appreciated its history. He enjoyed his vegetable and flower garden along with walking and nature observation, and classical music over WUOT.