Paul McDonough was born in Portsmouth, NH. After graduating from high school in 1958, he moved to Boston, where he graduated from the New England School of Art. In 1967, he moved to New York City, where he has lived for the past forty years. During that time he has worked as a free-lance photographer, paste-up mechanical artist and photography teacher at Pratt Institute, Yale University, Cooper Union, Marymount College, Parsons School of Design and Fordham University.
He has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. His work is in a number of public and private collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, the DeCordova Museum, the Dreyfus Corporation, the Lila Acheson Wallace Print Collection and the Joseph Seagram Collection. He has received extensive press coverage, including several write-ups in the New Yorker as well as reviews in the Wall Street Journal and Photo-Eye. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their two children.