William K. Howard was acclaimed as one of Hollywood's leading directors up until his death in 1954. He directed over 50 films from 1921-46, including "The Thundering Herd" in 1924, "This Side of Heaven" in 1934 and "Johnny Come Lately" in 1943.
Born in St. Mary's, Ohio, in 1899, Howard graduated from Ohio State University with an engineering law degree. He served in Europe during World War I.
He began directing films when he was only 22 years old. His first directing credits included "Get Your Man," "Play Square" and "What Love Will Do," all three of which appeared in 1921.
He continued to direct at a prolific pace throughout the 1920s and 1930s, usually completing two or three films each year.
In 1933, Howard directed stars Spencer Tracy and Colleen Moore in "The Power and the Glory."
Howard caused a sensation in Hollywood in 1936 when he tied up production of his picture "The Princess Comes Across." He had ordered his supervisor off the set, thereby marking the first time a director had taken steps to enforce policies of the Screen Directors Guild. He had charged the supervisor with "too much interference."
In 1949, he married his wife, Margaret Howard, in Las Vegas.
Howard began to suffer from a throat malignancy in 1953. He died in Los Angeles in 1954.