Mr. Harkins was born in Nebraska, but by the age of three months had convinced his parents to move to Torrington, Wyoming where he grew up. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor of science in Accounting. After working for other firms, Mr. Harkins helped found the firm of Grooms & Harkins, P.C.
He and his wife have lived in Casper since 1980 and all of his children were raised in Casper and attended the University of Wyoming. Having finally abandoned his life-long goal of being a left-handed pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he now spends his time reading, gardening, doing minor renovations on his house and chasing after three granddaughters.
He is also active in his church both at the parish and the diocesan level.