Richard Hitt was born in Washington, D.C., in 1950. After living there and in Alexandria, VA, his family moved to Mobile, AL, where Richard attended public schools. He graduated from W.P. Davidson High School in 1968. While there, Richard was drum major of the band his junior and senior years and won numerous awards in conjunction with his band and flute-playing activities including first chair flute in the Alabama All-State Band and Orchestra his junior and senior years. He attended the Auburn Summer Music Festival in 1966 and the Reston Music Center during the summer of 1967.
In 1968, he matriculated to Florida State University on a flute scholarship. While there, he studied with former Detroit Symphony principal flutist Albert Tipton. After a year in music, Richard changed his major to mathematics. He continued his flute studies and was very active in the School of Music as principal flutist in many of the student ensembles. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa during his junior year at FSU, and received the B.S. degree, magna cum laude, in 1972 (mathematics major and physics minor). He went on to earn the M.S. degree in mathematics in 1975, and the Ph.D. in mathematics in 1977 also from FSU. His doctoral dissertation advisor was DeWitt Sumners.
In 1977, he joined the faculty of the University of South Alabama. During his 26-year career in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Richard was active in research, teaching, and service to the university and community. He received approximately $2 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, Sun Microsystems, and Morrison Health Care for research, instrumentation and education. Richard received the Teacher of the Year award from the Internation Student Association in 1999. He retired from the faculty in 2003. See his academic résumé for details.
After retiring from academia and relocating to the Nashville area, Richard resumed his music activities and became a member of the Nashville Philharmonic Flute Ensemble (2009 - 2015) and serves as a flute sub for the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra (2011 - present).
In 2012, Richard became a certified Williamson County Master Gardener and a certified Tennessee Naturalist. He is also a member of the Tennessee Native Plant Society and Wild Ones.