Grossman was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1928 to a poor Jewish family stricken with hardship at the beginnings of The Great Depression. However, his family persevered through his school years after which he was able to attended Wayne State University and Ohio State University where he studied the arts. In 1955, he moved to Tucson and founded the ceramics program at the University of Arizona where he taught for the next thirty-five years and eventually retired to the post of Professor Emeritus. A lifelong traveler, Grossman’s work and philosophy in life incorporated ideas from Buddhism and drew inspiration from the elaborate architecture of Europe and Asia. He was a tireless maker, educator, and social activist until his passing in January, 2010, at 82 years of age.