Richard Heß was born in 1937 in Berlin. From 1952 to 1955 he was an apprentice wood sculptor, then studied sculpture at the University of the Fine Arts in West Berlin. In 1961–1962 he took part in Bernhard Heiliger’s master class, then worked as an assistant at the Technical University in Braunschweig and the Technical University in Darmstadt. In 1980 he was awarded the Art Prize of the City of Darmstadt. From 1980 to 2001 he held a professorship at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld. From 2001 Heß returned to live and work in Berlin until his death in 2017.