Bill Perlmutter was born in New York in 1932 and continues to live and work there to this day. Following his studies of Film Technology and his first photographic works in New York, he completed his studies of Photography in 1954 at the Army Signal Corps School in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. He worked initially as a press photographer for the US Army in Germany and, from 1958 onwards, as a freelance photographer in various European countries.

His pictures have been published in numerous magazines and books. He is represented with works in diverse US American museum collections, including those of the Whitney Museum of American Art and Museum of the City of New York, as well as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.