Crockett Johnson, pen name for David Johnson Leisk, was born October, 20, 1906 in New York City. He studied art at Cooper Union in 1924 and New York University in 1925. He wrote political cartoons for the New Masses from 1940-1943. In 1942, his popular character Barnaby first appeared in the newspaper, PM, and was later syndicated into 52 American newspapers. He married author Ruth Krauss in the early 1940s and illustrated three of her children's books: The Carrot Seed, How to Make an Earthquake, and The Happy Egg. His first children's book, Who's Upside Down? was published in 1952. His well-known series with his character Harold, began in 1955 with Harold and the Purple Crayon. He died of lung cancer on July 11, 1975 at the age of 68.
Eric Reynolds is the Associate Publisher of Fantagraphics Books and lives in Seattle, WA.