African American painter and fine arts professor Robert Dennis Reid was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1924. He studied at Clark College in Atlanta from 1941-1943 and continued his art education at the Art Institute of Chicago. Later, Reid studied at the Parsons New School of Design in New York City.
Throughout his career, Reid exhibitied at Grand Central Art Gallery in New York City, the UCLA Gallery, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In addition, the 1st World Festival of Negro Artists in Dakar, Senegal (1965) featured Reid's work. Reid held positions as a professor of painting and drawing at the Summit Art Center in New Jersey and the Rhode Island School of Design. He also exhibited with the U.S. State Department in the "Arts in the American Embassies" program. To supplement his income, Reid worked for the United States Post Office in the evenings. Robert Dennis Reid died in 2002.