Robert Hershon was born on May 28, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York, where he grew up. In 1957, after receiving a degree in journalism from New York University and working as a copy boy and editorial assistant at a local newspaper, Hershon moved to San Francisco, where he lived for five years, working as a newspaper reporter.
In 1962, Hershon began writing his first poems and soon returned to New York City, where he edited trade magazines for a living. In 1967, Hershon published his first poetry collection, Swans Loving Bears Burning the Melting Deer (New/Books) and went on to publish more than ten collections, most recently End of the Business Day (Hanging Loose Press, 2019) and Freeze Frame (Pressed Wafer, 2015).
Hershon served as the executive director of the Print Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization for educational and arts printing, for more than three decades, and in 1966, became the coeditor of Hanging Loose Press and Hanging Loose magazine. He received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and three fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He died on March 20, 2021, in Brooklyn, New York.