Richard Nickel was born in Chicago in 1928. After his high school graduation Nickel joined the army and served with the 11th Airbourne Division. He returned to Chicago and enrolled at the Illinois Institute of Technology. While he was interested in architecture he chose to study photography. After two years he was called to serve in the Korean War for one year but he returned to the Institute of Design where he received his master’s degree in photography in 1957. His thesis was “A Photographic Documentation of Adler and Sullivan”, a project which was begun while he studied under Aaron Siskind. Richard Nickel’s tireless commitment to photographing and preserving Chicago’s historic buildings brought him to his death in 1972 when he was killed by a collapsing ruins of the Chicago Stock Exchange Building.