Birren grew up in Chicago and attended the Art Institute of Chicago
from the age of 12 until he was 20. He then studied at the University
of Chicago. By the age of 30 he had become acolor consultant and relocated
to New York. His books on color include Creative Color, History of
Color in Painting, Principles of Color, Color Perception in Art and
Light, Color and Environment. He has worked as a color consultant
for several US companies and the US government.