Richard R. Bird, retired Rutgers University Graduate Registrar, was born in 1939 on Governor's Island in New York, where his father was stationed during World War II. During his upbringing, he lived on Camp Kilmer, in Nebraska, and then in Stelton (now Edison). He went to high school in Highland Park, where he played football and track. After starting at Rutgers in 1958, he went to college on and off, until he was drafted in 1963. He later returned to Rutgers, earning a degree in 1966. He served in the Army stateside at Fort Irwin, Fort Knox, Fort Monmouth and Edgewood Arsenal. He discusses volunteering to participate in experiments in which the Army was testing chemical agents on humans. In 1966, he began working at Rutgers in the Registrar's Office, where he spent the duration of his career until he retired in 2017. He was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement through the groups Central Jersey Vets for Peace, American Servicemen's Union, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War.