was born Dublin, Ireland in 1848. His family brought him to New York and at the age of 13 Saint-Gaudens began an apprenticeship as a cameo cutter. He earned his living at this craft while studying during the evening at Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design. In 1867 Saint-Gaudens went to Paris where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-arts. Three years later he traveled to Rome where he supported himself by doing cameo cutting and working on copies of famous classical statues.
Saint-Gaudens returned to New York in 1875, a recognized sculptor. In his middle period (1880-1897) Saint-Gaudens executed most of the well known works that earned him recognition and honors. Many of Saint-Gaudens' reliefs, sculptures and portraits can be seen in New York in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art including two caryatids originally created for a fireplace in the Cornelius Vanderbilt residence (1881); at Cooper Union, the statue of Peter Cooper (1894, installed 1897); at the Church of the Ascension at Fifth Avenue and 10th Street, the marble altar relief; at Madison Square Park, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, the statue of Admiral David G. Farragut, (1880); the statue of Peter Cooper at Cooper Square South of East 7th Street, (1897); works inside the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Columbus Avenue and 60th Street; the statue of General William Tecumseh Sherman (1892-1903) at the West side of Fifth Avenue, North of Central Park South; the red fireplace mantle with marble figures above it representing Joy, Hospitality and Moderation at the Villard Houses (1886; McKim, Mead and White) now the Helmsley Palace Hotel at 50th Street and Madison Avenue; and work on a number of the monuments at Woodlawn Cemetery, the Bronx. Saint-Gaudens also designed of a number of medallions and coins: (the $20.00 gold piece of 1907, and the head on the $10.00 gold piece.) Saint-Gaudens died in 1907 in Cornish, New Hampshire.