He studied Greek at Loyola University before switching to art, taking classes at Mizen Academy, Chicago Art Institute and the University of Illinois, Chicago.
He was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2008. After enlisting to join World World War II, he took more art classes at the University of Kentucky during basic training, thereafter working in the Signal Corps in New York City. Eventually, he became one of the most influential science fiction artists of all time.
He began by working in a conventional pulp paperback style, but quickly evolved a personal Surrealist idiom influenced by the cubists and surrealists, especially Picasso and Yves Tanguy.
He also dabbled in abstract art and collage at a later age before dying in 1996 at the age of 75. From the 1940s through the 1960s, he did many of covers for Doubleday.
During the 1950s and 1960s, he served as an unofficial art director for Ballantine Books. Foreign many years, the science fiction art of the estate of Richard Powers, which includes original artwork, was represented by Worlds of Wonder, and it is still possible to contact them about gaining usage rights to art pieces.
The estate of Richard Powers is offering pieces of Richard Powers" fine art collection for sale - both originals and authorized reproductions - through Baldwin Hill Art & Framing in Natick, Massachusetts.
In 2010, Andy Partridge, former frontman of the British New wave band XTC released a limited edition Civil Defense of music inspired by Powers" art titled POWERS.