William Wagner Granizo was born in San Francisco, but spent much of his early years in Nicaragua and Guatemala. He served in WWII and participated in the Normandy landing, where he was injured. While he was recuperating from his wounds, he picked up painting as a way of therapy. He used this time to experiment with color and design.
After he had healed he attended San Francisco College of Art and later worked as a set designer for KRON-TV until 1959 when he began to direct educational films.
During the same period he perfected his artwork through the medium of painted tiles. He would mix glazes in bright colors and paint them directly onto tiles without sketches. Many of the murals he produced were devoted to historical themes. Some of the murals were so large they would not be assembled in his studio. For example, his mural depicting the Olympic Games at Cal State Los Angeles is 96 feet wide and 24 feet high.
His murals grace the walls in many beautiful places, including Australia, Portugal, Mexico, and Oakland. He passed away at 72 at his home in Benicia after a two year battle with cancer.