W.J. Megginson was born in Calhoun, Pickens Co., SC in 1943, the son of William James and Ina S. Megginson. W.J. Megginson received his undergraduate degree from Mississippi College with a major in history and minors in economics, and then pursued his M.A. and Ph.D. from George Washington University. Megginson is best known for his book African American Life in South Carolina's Upper Piedmont, 1780-1900.