Solomon LeWitt was born in 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut. His parents were Russian Jews who immigrated to America at the end of the nineteenth century. LeWitt's father, a doctor, died when the artist was six; his mother, a nurse, encouraged his early interest in art. As a young boy, LeWitt took art classes at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut, where he made art in response to music. He also liked to make drawings on wrapping paper he found at his aunt's shop.
LeWitt majored in art at Syracuse University and was drafted for the Korean War. One of his on-duty jobs was making posters. Some of his first jobs in New York City in the 1950s were graphic designer for Seventeen magazine and for architect I. M. Pei (designer of the East Building of the National Gallery.) He also was a salesman in the bookshop and night receptionist at the Museum of Modern Art.