Bill Sharkey began his professional career with 14 consecutive wins, before losing a majority decision to future world champion Mike Weaver (11-6). A year and a half later he fought Scott LeDoux (21-6-2) to a draw. In 1979, Sharkey fought Marvin Camel (32-2-1) for the NABF Cruiserweight Title, losing by unanimous decision. Sharkey retired in 1983 after suffering a first-round knockout loss to Frank Bruno (17-0).
At age 19, Sharkey, the alleged former gang leader from Queens, New York, lost both of his parents to a murder-suicide. In 1970, he and another man drove to a home in Queens and shot and killed a man, Benjamin Clancy. Charged with murder, a jury convicted him in 1971 of manslaughter. He was sentenced to 10 years but was released in 1974. He later told people they'd gotten the wrong man.
On October 24th, 1998, Bill Sharkey's body was found inside the trunk of his burned-out car deep in the woods near his home. He had been shot, and apparently placed in the trunk of the old New York City Police Department car he tooled around in which was then set on fire, about 15 miles from the log cabin that Sharkey built with a chainsaw in the Poconos haven of Tannersville, Pennsylvania. With much of the physical evidence destroyed in the fire, the murder remains unsolved.