Rudolph Carl Gorman was born in Chinle, Arizona. His mother was Adele Katherine Brown, and his father Carl Nelson Gorman was a noted Navajo painter and teacher, who later became a Navajo code talker during World War II.
Gorman grew up in a traditional Navajo hogan and began drawing at age 3. His grandmother helped raise him, recounting Navajo legends and enumerating his genealogy of artist ancestors. She kindled his desire to become an artist. While tending sheep in Canyon de Chelly with his aunts, he used to draw on the rocks, sand, and mud, and made sculptures with the clay, with his earliest subjects including Mickey Mouse and Shirley Temple.
In 1958, he received the first scholarship from the Navajo Tribal Council to study outside of the United States, and enrolled in the art program at Mexico City College.There he learned of and was influenced by the work Diego Rivera. He later studied art at San Francisco State University, where he also worked as a model.
In 1998, he donated art for Tom Udall's campaign for election to the U.S. House of Representatives, and in 2003, donated his personal library to Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona.On September 18, 2005, Gorman fell at his home and was taken to Holy Cross Hospital in Taos. On September 26, he was transferred to University Hospital (in Albuquerque). He died at age 74 on November 3. New Mexico governor Bill Richardson ordered flags flown at half-staff in his honor.Wikipedia