William McIlvaney Scotland

Biography of William McIlvaney

William McIlvany Matriculation slip 1958-59
William McIlvany Matriculation slip 1958-59

William Angus McIlvaney (McIlvanney) graduated from the University of Glasgow MA in 1959. He was born 23rd November 1935 in Kilmarnock, the son of William, a van driver.

McIlvaney was educated at Kilmarnock Academy before first matriculating at the University in 1955, aged 18. He took classes including English, History and French during his time here, earning a class prize in English Literature in both his first and second year. He also received the Lorimer bursary for English Literature, as well as winning the Lafine bursary for distinction in the Ordinary Class of English during his first year. William graduated on 20th June 1959 with a second class honours degree.

After graduating, McIlvaney went on to become a school teacher in Ayrshire and reached the position of assistant headmaster before he left to become a freelance writer in 1975. McIlvaney became an award- winning novelist, with a special interest in working-class stories. He was the author of titles such as Remedy is None (1966), Laidlaw (1977) and The Papers of Tony Veitch (1983).

McIlvaney also had a parallel career in journalism and as a TV presenter. He has held writing fellowships in Scotland and Canada and his literary prizes include: the Whitbread Prize for Fiction for Docherty (1975), and the Glasgow Herald People’s Prize for his short story collection Walking Wounded (1990).

William McIlvaney died on 5th December 2015.


William McIlvaney
Born 23 November 1935.
Died 5 December 2015.
GU Degree: MA, 1959; English,
University Link: Graduate
Occupation categories: authors
Record last updated: 8th Dec 2015

Country Associations

Scotland Scotland, Glasgow
Place of Birth

University Connections

University Roles

  • Graduate