Don Potts was born in San Francisco, California in 1936. He attended San Jose State College and the University of Iowa. Potts was an Assistant Professor at University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Iowa. He also worked at the Joslyn Art Museum in Nebraska, the La Jolla Museum of Art in California, the Pasadena Art Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Art. He died in San Francisco, California in 2011.