Richard Harper Mason was born in El Dorado, Union County, Arkansas, on August 12, 1937.

Mason graduated from Norphlet High School in 1955. He earned a B.S. and an M.S. in geology from the University of Arkansas while working for MacMillan Petroleum Corporation in Norphlet during the summers.

After graduation Mason went to work for Humble Oil and Refining Company, which later became Exxon Company, U.S.A. He spent two years at King Ranch in South Texas and two years in Libya before relocating to Corpus Christi. After leaving Exxon in 1967, he partnered with fellow geologist Joe Baria. In 1973 they discovered the largest gas field to date in Mississippi's Black Warrior Basin. Mason returned to his hometown of El Dorado in 1975 and continued to work in the oil and gas industry.

Mason began writing in his spare moments while living in Libya. In 2007 he published his first novel, The Red Scarf. He has since written many other books, including The Queen of Hamburger Row which was named after the main street in El Dorado during the oil boom.

Mason has served as president and CEO of Gibraltar Energy Co. and as principal of the Mason Foundation. He has restored numerous buildings in downtown El Dorado, including the historic Rialto Theater.

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