Nickle was born in Saginaw, Michigan. In 1943, he graduated from the University of Michigan where he studied architecture and design. He enlisted in the Navy that May, and served in the South Pacific.
Robert Nickle's work is included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, David and Alfred Smart Gallery, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Indianapolis Museum, Smithsonian Museum, Carnegie Institute Museum and the National Gallery in Washington.
- U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
- Robert Nickle in the U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010