Born William Harry Mayes in Newark, New Jersey, "Bob" Mayes is the middle child of a family of five children. He and two of his siblings were selected to attend Arts High School, a fine arts magnet school for gifted children. After completing high school, Bob elected to enlist into the US Army's Military Police Corps and thus began a military career that spanned 30 years. During the Vietnam era, Bob was assigned as an infantry advisor with South Vietnamese Rangers (MACV-SOG) and spent his tour with the army's elite Special Forces (Green Berets). Later he was assigned as an MP to FT. Bragg, NC. He attended college courses in between missions and assignments, and earned college degrees in Business, Accounting and Administration of Justice. Bob retired from the Army in 1984 and went to work in the corporate world.

He has always loved artwork, but was limited to cartoons and the caricatures he had created in high school. He drew them sparingly when he found free moments, and they were always of his surroundings. His caricatures reflected the country he was in at the time and depicted the people and their unique activities. After his retirement from the army, Bob worked for several corporations, one of which in 1991 was the Senior Citizens Council of Augusta, GA. True to his past, he continued to draw caricatures of his surroundings, now of seniors going about their daily activities.

In 2000 after suffering an illness that required major surgery, Bob made a special change in his life of art. As suddenly as the illness struck, he began to pencil sketch realistic pictures. After 50 years of drawing cartoon caricatures, Bob started drawing portraits and landscapes. He could not recall attempting this before and had to be convinced and coerced by coworkers of the Senior Citizens Council to show his work to the public. 

Now retired again, Bob travels around the Central Savannah River Area (the borders of Georgia & South Carolina) in search of those fading structures of the past to draw. This is now his way of preserving the memories of the way it was.