Richard (Dick) C. Heyser was born in 1931 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Arizona, where he received a BSEE degree in 1953. Awarded a Charles LeGeyt Fortescue Fellowship for advanced studies, he earned a MSEE degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1954, and spent two additional years in postgraduate work at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
In 1956 he joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the California Institute of Technology where he became a member of the technical staff. His work involved communication and instrumentation design for space programs at JPL, including the conceptual design of America's first satellite, Explorer I, and the application of coherent spread spectrum techniques to improve underwater sound and medical ultrasound imaging.
He maintained a personal laboratory where he conducted research on audio and acoustic measurement techniques. He was awarded nine patents, including time-delay spectrometry (TDS).
At the time of his death on March 14, 1987, Heyser was the president-elect of the Audio Engineering Society, where he had been an active member for more than three decades. He served as a governor of the Society for 1983 to 1984 and was prominent in numerous society activities and committees.