Born in 1922, Richard Dorman was raised in Los Angeles and helped shape the architectural landscape of the city. Before he was an architect, Dorman fought in World War II as a pilot, flying 35 missions over the Pacific. After the war, Dorman used funds from the GI Bill to attend architecture school at the University of Southern California.
Upon graduating from USC, Dorman was invited to work for Welton Becket and Associates where he was the assistant chief designer for five years before leaving to start his own architectural firm in 1956. Initially, the architect primarily designed industrial buildings, but he ultimately moved on to the commercial and residential designs for which he became most popular.