Born in Malvern, Ohio in 1908, Clyde Singer spent his formative years in rural Ohio, attending the local public schools and later the school at the Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts. In 1933, Singer was awarded a scholarship to the Arts Students League in New York, where he was mentored by the celebrated Regionalist painters Thomas Hart Benton and John Stueart Curry. Singer stayed in New York city for seven years, where he became friends with the Ashcan school painter John Sloan. Singer eventually returned to Ohio and became the assistant director at the Butler Institute of American Art in 1940. Excluding serving during World War II, Singer held his post at the Butler until his death in 1999.