Bill MacCracken was a graduate of the University of Chicago School of Law, a former assistant Cook County States Attorney and a former deputy Illinois Attorney General.
In the summer of 1926, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover appointed Bill as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics. There was no FAA at that time and Bill's office supervised all the licensed pilots in the U.S. He was a member of the Illinois State Society of Washington, DC.
Bill MacCracken almost grounded Charles Lindbergh due to two crashes near Bloomington and Ottawa, Illinois in the fall of 1926 while Lindy was a mail pilot flying five times a week from Maywood to Peoria to Springfield to St. Louis.
Lindy was the only pilot in the country with four forced parachute jumps on his record. Business leaders in St. Louis begged MacCracken not to cancel Lindy's pilot's license since they were backing him to try for the Orteig Prize in 1927 to fly across the Atlantic. MacCracken let Lindy keep his license.