William Bart Saxbe was born in Mechanicsburg, Ohio, on June 24, 1916. He earned his B.A. degree from Ohio State University in 1940, his LL.B. from that institution in 1948, and was admitted to the Ohio bar that same year. He was on active military duty from 1940 to 1945, and was recalled into service 1951-1952 during the Korean War. Saxbe was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1946, reelected three times, and served as speaker of the house in 1953 and 1954. He then returned to private practice. In 1956 he was elected attorney general of the State of Ohio and reelected in 1962 and 1966, serving as the State's chief legal officer longer than any attorney general in Ohio history. Saxbe served as United States Senator from Ohio from 1969 until January 3, 1974. President Richard Nixon appointed him Attorney General of the United States on January 4, 1974. He resigned on February 1, 1975, to become Ambassador to India. He served as ambassador until January 1977.
The artist was born in New York City. He studied at the Art Students League in New York, Columbia University, and at Atelier. He is one of the progenitors of the Brandywine School. For 14 years he was an illustrator for Ladies' Home Journal and was with a large Paris magazine publisher for 10 years. Upon his return to the United States, he became a painter of portraits. Keller's portrait of Attorney General Saxbe was unveiled in 1975. The artist died in August of that year.