Roger Stover was born in Naperville, Illinois. He spent his first eighteen years there before going to Purdue for his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Stover later went on to receive a M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering also from Purdue. He then taught physics at the Illinois Institute of Technology and at Gordon College in Pakistan.
Stover served in the U.S. Army for two years, doing work measuring radiation levels during tests of atomic and hydrogen bombs at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands and the Nevada Test Site.