R. Brownlee Welsh was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma and raised in Tulsa. In 1939, the family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.
Mr. Welsh was known as Bob to all friends, became interested in photography, acted in several school plays, and began taking photographs.
After graduation he enrolled in Davidson College, where he joined the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, was active in sports, photography, and R.O.T.C. Tests indicated aptitudes in engineering, law and art.
After service in Germany, he married Marie-Luise Osmers of Hamburg and Regensburg. They have three children and five grandchildren.
Mr. Welsh had a career as a portrait photographer with a studio in Charlotte.