Ben Harrison was born on September 8, 1945, in San Antonio, Texas, and spent his early years in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he attended W. B. Ray High School. Earning an undergraduate degree in Political Science at Southern Methodist University, he graduated from their Law School in 1972. He and Helen, who was a fine arts major at SMU when they met, were married on August 30, 1972, and moved to San Francisco that same year. In 1974 they drove to Costa Rica where, together, they built the 38-foot sailboat that they lived on for 11 years. In 1979 they sailed into the harbor of Key West, Florida, where he became a professional entertainer/musician/composer/author. In 1986 they opened Harrison Gallery, which celebrated its 28th anniversary in 2014. They have two sons. Benjamin A. Harrison, who after ten years of professional baseball with the Texas Rangers and other teams in five different countries finished his career in Italy, and William Cole Harrison, a licensed captain and commercial spearfisher, who also handcrafts Triple C Spearguns.