Beni Montresor was born on March 31, 1926 in Bussoleno, Italy. He worked as a newspaper film critic, author of radio plays, and set designer in Italy before moving to the United States in 1960.
He continued to work as a set and costume designer for operas and musicals and began writing and illustrating children’s books. His adaptations of operas The Magic Flute and Cinderella are marked by Crompton’s Encyclopedia as the beginning of children’s books being dominated by illustration.
Montresor won the Caldecott Medal in 1965 for May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers. He won a Tony Award in 1986 for his set design in The Marriage of Figaro. He died in 2001.