Author and Movie Director/Producer
A seventh generation Florida native, Bill Coleman was born in Bushnell where he graduated from high school. He was a trombonist, winning a first division solo competition in 1938. Football was his game, and he was selected as West Coast all-conference center and defensive linebacker. Coleman graduated from the University of Florida with a major in journalism. He was past president of the Florida chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, the professional journalism fraternity; member of Alpha Epsilon Rho, professional radio/television fraternity; and a member of Kappa Tau Alpha, honorary scholastic journalism fraternity. He is a recipient of the Dillon Achievement Award for Journalism.
Coleman is a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force and a rated command pilot. He flew some 155 combat missions in World War II. A former instructor pilot in single- and multi-engined aircraft, he has flown more than 50 different airplanes from the Jenny to jets. In the later years of his Air Force career, his assignments included director of Public Affairs for the Air Force Eastern Test Range, the national range division, and the Department of Defense manager for manned spaceflight. The last five years of his career, he was chief of public information for the U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon. His decorations include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters; the Bronze Star; the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters; the Air Force Commendation Medal; two Presidential Citations, and 12 other decorations. He also earned two NASA Achievement Awards for the Gemini and Apollo programs.
His civilian experiences include being a newspaper columnist, a reporter and the author of three books and more than 100 magazine articles. He has produced and directed over 600 television news and documentary shows and has produced 25 motion pictures in Hollywood, working with the late Jack Webb, Mark VII Limited. He is a film writer and editor, a farmer, plays golf when he has time and is married to his childhood sweetheart. He is the father of two and the grandfather of three.
Coleman is a life member of the Missile, Space and Range Pioneers Association, a past member of the Aviation/Space Writers Association, member and past president of the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Air Force Association, a life member of the Military Officers Organization, a member of the Gideons International, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.