Harry Jackson grew up in Chicago and had two passions: drawing and horses. At age fourteen, he hopped on a freight train to Cody, Wyoming, to become a cowboy. He served as a combat artist for the Marines in World War II, and when he returned, studied art under the GI Bill. After a stint as a radio actor and narrator, he moved to New York City, where he belonged to a circle of abstract expressionist painters including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Grace Hartigan, to whom he was married for a time. In the early 1950s, Jackson traveled to Europe, where he studied the Old Masters, and although he continued to appreciate abstract art, his own work from this time on was representational. He is most noted for his bronze sculptures that tell stories of the Old West.