Ben Gill was born October 13, 1941, in Dallas, Texas, to Pauline Gill Clements and William Perry Clements, Jr. He grew up in Dallas, but began his love of outdoors at a young age in scouting, weekends at Coon Creek Club, and fishing and hunting trips with his father.
Gill often had baby coons, alligators, and owls he was caring for at his home. Once a month Gill and his Dad went camping and Gill became an Eagle Scout before he turned 13.
After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School, Gill attended SMU.