|James R. Dean was born on April 3, 1948, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He graduated from the high school in Willmar, Minnesota, in 1966; obtained a Bachelor of Architecture degree from North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo in 1971; and became a Registered Architect in 1976. He has worked as an architect in Fargo and Bismarck, North Dakota, and in St. Paul and Avon, Minnesota. He also was a photographer for the Dakota Photo Documentary Project during 1976 and has been a freelancer ever since. Discounting numerous hotels, motels, and floors of friends, he has lived in one house in St. Louis Park, Minnesota; three houses in Willmar; one dormitory and one fraternity house at NDSU; one tent in Europe; two apartments in Moorhead, Minnesota; two apartments in Fargo; one VW bus in Europe and northern Africa; another apartment in Fargo; three apartments in Bismarck; two apartments in St. Paul; and one rented cabin in rural Stearns County, Minnesota. He has been arrested twice and married once. He currently lives in and works out of a house he designed for himself and helped to build, just one mile off Interstate 94 in central Minnesota.
Mr. Dean specializes in non-fictional, black and white photographs of people, places and things.