Herman Berenson was born in 1919 in Brooklyn, New York. He was drafted into the US Army in December 1942 when he was 23 years old. He was assigned to D Company of the 325th Medical Battalion of the 100th Division and served in the European Theater. Berenson was awarded many medals for his service during World War II. After the war, he attended Brooklyn College and studied Biology. Herman worked as a laboratory technician and later research biologist.