Oakley was born in Oneonta, New York. He attended The Kubert School in New Jersey. He decided to work as a letterer because he wanted to work in comic books but couldn't handle the job of an artist. He died at the age of 39 of cancer in Utica, New York where he lived with his wife Leslie Oakley and their son Stephen Oakley.
Bill Oakley was an American comic book letterer. He is best known for his work on Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Batman: Gotham Knights. He worked for DC Comics and Marvel Comics. He began his career working for Sirius Comics on their title Greylore in 1985. A year later he started working for Marvel on titles as The Transformers; The Spectacular Spider-Man and Howard the Duck. His first work for DC was the 600th issue of Action Comics. He would continue to work on that title as well as on other Superman titles. He also worked on titles such as DC Vs Marvel Comics and the one-shot Batman: Vengeance of Bane. His last works for DC as letterer were the Superman: True Brit title and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier.