Harvey Mudd was born in Los Angeles in 1940. He received his secondary education at The Thacher School in Ojai, California, where he formed a love for literature. He dropped out of Amherst College after a year and went to New York City where he worked in the book trade and became a habitué of the Gotham Book Mart on 47th street. At age 20, he went abroad, living in Spain and traveling in the Middle East. In 1961 he returned to the U.S. and received a bachelor’s degree at the New School for Social Research (N.Y.C.) in 1964. He served three years as an enlisted man in US Army Intelligence corp. Discharged from the Army in 1967, he moved to northern New Mexico and tried the life of a farmer.
In 1969, Mudd became the director of an environmental lobbying organization called The Central Clearing House headquartered in Santa Fe, N.M. For nearly seven years he was intensely involved with the environmental issues of the day. He also served on the boards of numerous environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club Foundation.During the years following the period of environmental activism, he was involved in a number of businesses, including wine making in California, an art gallery in Santa Fe, and a movie theater in Taos, New Mexico. He served on the New Mexico Arts Commission in the early 1980s.
In 1976, Mudd published his first of four books of poems. The third, The Plain of Smokes (1982), was short listed for the Los Angeles Times poetry prize. His last, A European Education (1986), is a chronicle of his travels, actual and emotional, through the “geography” of the Holocaust.
While New Mexico was his primary home for roughly 20 years, he also traveled extensively in Mexico and lived in Mexico City for extended periods. In 1988, he moved to Vermont. In 1994, he divorced, returned to New York City, and began the process of becoming a painter.
Harvey Mudd has two daughters and a son. He currently divides his time between Vermont, where his younger children live, and the south of France.