William McCleery (1911–2000) was born in Nebraska and spent his early career as a newspaper reporter and magazine editor. In the 1940s two of his plays were produced on Broadway, and he later wrote some dozen one-hour dramas for television. From the 1960s until his death he was affiliated with Princeton University, where he taught playwriting, founded the magazine University: A Princeton Quarterly
, and edited several volumes of university history. McCleery was a trustee of the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire from 1948 to 1970, and it was there that he wrote Wolf Story
for his son Michael.