Howard Strand was an antiquities dealer with an interest in items with ties to the occult or mythology. He is described by his children as having been obsessed with his work. He travelled extensively collecting items and even when he was home he was distant from his children, spending most of his time in his home office. Cheryl stated that as Richard grew older that Howard started taking an interest in him as a possible successor to his work and would bring him esoteric items from his trips. Howard's obsession led to estrangement from his children. When his wife was sick and dying, Howard did not come home to his family. His son Richard was left to care for his dying mother. Richard never forgave him. Richard recently inherited his father's house in Seattle, but never visited the house while his father was alive.
Howard's greatest obsession was The Horn of Tiamat and was described by Richard Strand as being Howard's life work. Over 40 years ago he wrote a paper about the horn's possible location that was never published. This paper may have somehow made its way to Warren, who was recently on an expedition to find the Horn of Tiamat in the same location mentioned in the Strand paper. Another of Howard's items of interest was a demon board that he showed Richard.