Richard Steinheimer was known as the Dean of railroad photographers in the American West. Born in 1929, he began photography as part of his boyhood interest in trains in Glendale, California, starting out with a 127 Baby Brownie Special in the mid-1940s. He soon was taking distinctive photographs which were recognized across the United States and beyond as among the finest being created by any railroad photographer.
In his career, he became well known throughout the photographic and railfan worlds, and his emphasis on railroads of the West yielded numerous publications in magazines and books, as well as his own volumes, Backwoods Railroads of the West and Western Train, and co-authored volumes such as Growing Up With Trains, Diesels Over Donner, and Whistles Across the Land. He has also been the subject of two books, Done Honest & True, and A Passion for Trains. In 1983 the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society presented him their first-ever Senior Achievement Award in Photography.
In his later years, he lived in Sacramento, California with his wife, Shirley Burman. In the photo, he is shown wearing his favorite denim hat for photo expeditions. He died in May 2011.