Born in the village Alikovo miyakinsky district of the Ufa province into a large peasant family (he was the sixteenth child). He early showed a great love of painting. After the revolution, the family's fate was tragic: his father was expropriated, the brothers arrested. Before the war, Nikolai graduated from the dairy College and worked as a technologist in the Urals, in Central Asia, Bashkiria. Married, children were born, five, all the people. During the war he fought in the infantry, was severely wounded in the shoulder. In the postwar years, 20 years, until retirement he worked as a winemaker in the town of Melekess (now the city of Dimitrovgrad, Ulyanovsk region).
His first painting Nikolai Ivanovich wrote in 80 years. He never and no one had studied painting. Began to write from the heart and soul. Regretted that later took up painting. In 1988 he participated in the exhibition of Amateur artists in the city of Dimitrovgrad, in 1991 he had his first solo exhibition at the Museum of folk art, Ulyanovsk regional center of folk creativity and art. Participated in the exhibition "Naive art of Russia (Moscow, 1993), as well as in the International exhibition of naive art "INSITA" in Bratislava (Slovakia, 1994). In 1999 he held his solo exhibition in the State Museum of fine arts. Of A. S. Pushkin. In 1995, after his beloved wife, he quietly passed away.
In 2008, the 100th anniversary of the birth of the artist held a personal exhibition of Nikolay Ivanovich Kozyrin in the Museum of naive art (Moscow) and the Museum of folk art, Ulyanovsk regional center of folk creativity and art, which houses a large part of the artist's paintings and movies about it.
(Source: website of the Museum of naive art)