He was born in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.
In 1912 he finished eighth in the pole vault event. He graduated from the Haverford School, Haverford PA, in 1909, and was inducted into the school's 2005-06 athletic hall of fame. At Haverford, Fritz received 12 Varsity Letters. He was the Football Captain, Gymnastics Captain for two years, and also participated in Baseball and Track. He held the Haverford pole vault record of 10 feet for over twenty years. He later attended Cornell University and played on the football team. In a game against Penn, Fritz scored the only three touchdowns in a 21-0 win over Penn, and did this all with a broken arm. He was selected by Walter Camp as 2nd team All-American halfback, and was drafted by the Chicago Bears, but chose to go into the army instead. Fritz was the 3rd generation owner of the William Howard Fritz Lumber Company, which opened in 1863, and still remains open and owned by Fritz's son, William H. Fritz III, and grandson, William H. Fritz IV, today. The William Howard Fritz Lumber Company is located in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Fritz also owned a wholesale business in Philadelphia as a broker selling railroad cars of white pine to lumber companies in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, New York, and Ohio.