His illustrations best characterized as simplistic and humorous, Syd Hoff has held a warm place in children’s hearts through more than 200 books. Born on September 4th, Syd Hoff grew up in New York City. He went to the National Academy of Design as a fine arts student, but his teachers didn’t appreciate the humor that pervaded his work.
Hoff sold his first cartoon to The New Yorker at the age of eighteen. He drew many single-panel cartoons for that and other magazines, as well as his own cartoon feature, Laugh It Off, which ran in syndication for almost twenty years.
In 1958, he published his first children’s book, Danny and the Dinosaur, which is a classic for beginning readers. It was also one of the first. He has written several fine books about cartooning, all of which are worth finding in a used bookstore.
Syracuse University in New York state houses the original drawings for his comic strip and magazine art, while the deGrummond Collection in Mississippi holds original materials for forty-six of his books for children.
Mr. Hoff died May 12, 2004, at the age of 91.