Dudley was raised in Columbus Montana and first graduated in Pharmacy from the University of Montana in 1969. He then worked in retail management in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming for several years before returning to the University of Montana in 1984 to receive a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. During that time, he also studied photography at the University of Montana with Dick Reinholz and with selected teachers including Galen Rowell, Gary Smith, and Jill Enfield.
He maintains a private practice in Clinical Psychology. Dudley and his wife, Candace, own the Dana Gallery in downtown Missoula, MT. The Dana focuses on original paintings and sculpture and represents over 40 local and regional artists.