Richard H. Hiers was born in Pennsylvania in 1932. He earned a Ph.D. in religious studies and ethics from Yale University in 1961 and a J.D. from the University of Florida in 1983. He was employed at the University of Florida for a span of forty-two years beginning in 1961 and ending in 2003 at the time of his retirement. He is the author of several publications in the field of Biblical studies, particularly related to the "historical Jesus," Biblical ethics, and religion and law. In addition, he has authored several works on legal issues such as free speech, discrimination in employment, and academic freedom. Throughout his career, he served as a local and regional officer in several organizations and honor societies including the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, Phi Kappa Phi, and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). In his capacity as a member of the University of Florida Chapter of the AAUP he worked towards university collegial governance and improved relations in academic institutions.