William V. D’Antonio earned a BA from Yale University, an MA from the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD in sociology and anthropology from Michigan State University. After two years on the faculty of Michigan State, he joined the faculty of the University of Notre Dame as an assistant professor. He served as Professor and Chair of the Department there from 1966 to 1971. He moved to the University of Connecticut in 1971 as professor and chair. In 1982 he took a leave from Connecticut to become the Chief Executive Officer of the American Sociological Association, where he served until his retirement in 1991.
In 1993 he joined the Sociology faculty at the Catholic University of America as a visiting research professor; he is currently a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies (formerly, Life Cycle Institute). He is the co-author and co-editor of an array of books including: American Catholics Today: New Realities of Their Faith and Their Church, and Voices of the Faithful: Loyal Catholics Striving for Change, a study of Catholic lay social movements striving to help change the Church. He has received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from St. Michael's College in Vermont and was a Fulbright Senior Fellow in Italy in 2004.