Richard Shepard was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926. He loved art as a boy growing up in the City. He attended the High School of Performing Arts in New York City - the same school that was in the movie and TV series Fame. When he turned 18, he enlisted in the Navy and fought in World War II. He was stationed in Japan where he painted a mural in a church for the Company Chaplain.
When he retumed from the war, he went to school at Parsons School of Art - a prestigious art school in New York City. There he studied fashion illustration. His first real art experience was creating ads for department stores that appeared in the New York Times Sunday section, as well as Harper's Bazaar and other notable publications.
He started his painting career in the mid-60's, using acrylic paints with ink or charcoal. He had shows at galleries in the NYC area, as well as New jersey and Massachusetts. Goldie Hawn and other famous people have bought his paintings over the course of his career.
In 1992, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which affected his ability to paint. It was hard for him to pick up and hold a paint brush. He continued to try to paint until his death on Christmas Day 2000.
In addition to being a successful artist, he also was a Tai Chi teacher who taught classes in New York City.