Jack was one of the inaugural inductees in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame and received awards too numerous to list in detail. He was honoured as SFWA Grand Master award in 1976 and received the Pilgrim Award from Science Fiction Research Association in 1973. Williamson also served as SFWA President in 1978-80. His autobiographical Wonder's Child: My Life in Science Fiction won a Hugo award in 1985.
He coined the word "terraforming" and originated the concept of agents from the future travelling into their past to change history. Professor Emeritus of English at Eastern New Mexico University, Williamson earned his B.A. and M.A. from ENMU, and joined the English faculty in 1960. He later earned his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado with a dissertation on H.G. Wells. He endowed scholarships in English and modern languages as well as for students in science and the humanities. He underwrote the ENMU literary magazine, El Portal, a publication that he supported as an ENMU faculty member as its advisor. The Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library at ENMU has one of the top science fiction collections in the world.