Born in Burlington, Iowa, Rick Fletcher became the art director for the Rudy A. Moritz Advertising Agency in Davenport, Iowa, in 1934. He served with the 83rd Infantery Division during World War II, and fought in France, Belgium (the Battle of the Bulge), Holland and Germany. Back in civil life, he joined the art staff of the Chicago Tribune in 1946. He learned the comics profession from Carey Orr and began his own syndicated color feature in 1953, called 'The Old Glory Story', with Athena Robbins. He became the assistant of Chester Gould on the 'Dick Tracy' in 1961. In 1977, he took over the strip completely together with scriptwriter Max Allen Collins. He drew the adventures of the plainclothes detective until his death in 1983, and was succeeded by Dick Locher.