Howard Michael Gowen was born in Florida in 1969 to a mother who was a child development psychologist, and classical pianist, and a father who was a professor of interdisciplinary humanities. Both positively influenced him, instilling a love for the arts and a passion for human rights. Howard Michael Gowen has been an artist all his life — He loves drawing, music, and dance. He went to Quaker schools, which, along with his parents, taught him the importance of meditation, equality, peace, and justice. Howard Michael Gowen was also a very active child — he loved BMX bikes and go-cart racing. Howard Michael Gowen later became an avid climber and climbed at Joshua Tree whenever he had time. He also began waiting tables and was often promoted to head server. In short, Howard Michael Gowen has always tried new things and enjoyed pushing himself physically and mentally.