Bill Randall was born in Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick, and grew up in the village of Harvey Station, also in New Brunswick. His first career was as a parish minister with the United Church of Canada, during which time he served congregations in New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. After completing doctoral work at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto), he taught English at Seneca College in Toronto until the fall of 1995, when he was invited to STU to be the first Visiting Chair in Gerontology. He became full professor in 2011.

From 2008 to 2012, he served as Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative and from 2009 on, has been a founding member of the Atlantic Institute on Aging. He is also an Institute Associate with The Taos Institute. In addition to co-editing the journal Narrative Works, he is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Aging Studies and the Journal of Digital Storytelling. With Ernst Bohlmeijer, Gerben Westerhof, Thijs Tromp, and Gary Kenyon he received the 2009 award for “Theoretical Developments in Social Gerontology” from The Gerontological Society of America for a paper on the concept of narrative foreclosure.