Wilford DeLoy Lee was born May 8, 1898 in Iona, Idaho to Thomas Wolkitt and Martha Louise Bowen Lee. He married Lorine Hutchinson August 27, 1925 in the Salt Lake City LDS temple. He obtained a teaching certificate from Idaho Teachers College in Pocatello. He received both a BA and MA from Brigham Young University. Wilford did graduate work at the university of California-Berkeley. He was an author and professor of English at Brigham Young University.
Wilford served in the U.S. Army during World War I in France. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa.