Billy Sharpe was born in Columbia, South Carolina, the son of a Baptist minister. He served as a Deacon at Hilda First Baptist Church. Billy also was Secretary of Hilda Masonic Lodge, a member of Mar Shrine Temple and Gideon International. He served his country in the United States Air Force.

Sharpe was employed for thirty-three years as a Ranger with the South Carolina Forestry Commission. He served thirty-eight years as Chief of the Hilda Fire Department and, during his spare time, ran and coached the Hilda Athletic Club.

Sharpe was president of the South Carolina USA Boxing Association for sixteen years. He lost his final bout to cancer on December 19, 2011

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