Richard Powell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 28, 1908. After graduating from Princeton University in 1930, he worked for the Philadelphia Evening Ledger where he stayed for ten years. In 1940, he left the newspaper to join the public relations department of the advertising agency N. W. Ayer & Son. During World War II, he served as lieutenant-colonel in the Army in the War Department of Public Relations and as chief news censor for General Douglas MacArthur in the Pacific. He was awarded the Bronze Star. After the war, he went back to the agency and became vice-president in charge of Information Services in 1952. He resigned from that post in 1958 in order to become a full-time author. He wrote 19 books including Pioneer, Go Home!; The Soldier; and I Take This Land. The Philadelphian was adapted into the 1959 film The Young Philadelphians starring Paul Newman. He died on December 8, 1999.