Born in Fargo, North Dakota, Gass grew up in Warren, Ohio, where he graduated from Warren G. Harding High School, in 1942.   Gass earned his A.B. in philosophy from Kenyon College in 1947 where he graduated magna cum laude. In 1954 he earned his PhD from Cornell University in philosophy. His dissertation, "A Philosophical Investigation of Metaphor," was based on his training as a philosopher of language.

Most of the items in this section were loaned to us by Bill and Mary Gass for this exhibit. Highlights include: a grade card from high school, showing he excelled most that term in English and World History; pages from his 1942 high school year book with pages related to Gass's role as editor of the school newspaper; Gass's first published essay, appropriately on the subject of reading; drafts of college papers and his first short story; and a letter home from Gass while he attended the American Legion Buckeye Boys State camp, in 1941.