James Marshall was born on October 10, 1942 in San Antonio, Texas, where his father worked for the railroad and had a dance band.
James studied the viola and received a scholarship for the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He intended to have a musical career until he injured his hand when jerked out of his seat during an airplane flight. He studied French under Harry Allard at Trinity College, later a good friend and collaborator. Upon graduation, James taught Spanish at a Catholic school near Boston.
His first book, George and Martha, was inspired by the famous play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” while he was sketching in a hammock. He went on to write and illustrate over 70 books for children. He died in October of 1992.
If you are in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, visit the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota to see his original sketch notebook.