Sargent was born in Moline, Illinois and attended art school there. He later moved to Washington, D.C., where he attended the Corcoran School of Art and the Phillips Memorial Gallery, now the Phillips Collection. During the Great Depression, Sargent worked for the Works Progress Administration and was assigned to paint a mural entitled Men at Rest for the Morrilton Post Office in Conway County, Arkansas which was later installed in the Conway County Courthouse. He loved to travel, and examples of his work can be seen in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, New York City, France, and Spain. Sargent painted forty-seven covers for The Saturday Evening Post and other magazines between 1951 and 1962. He was a member of the Society of Illustrators. In 1966, he retired to Andalusia, Spain where he painted until his death.