Evaline Ness was born on April 24, 1911 in Union City, Ohio. She studied at Ball State Teachers College before deciding to pursue a career in art. She married Elliot Ness, well-known member of the FBI (and the inspiration for The Untouchables), in 1938 and moved to Washington, D.C. She continued her studies at Corcoran Art School and Academie de Belle Arte in Rome.
Ness was a well-established studio artist and a highly paid commercial artist when she was first asked to illustrate a children’s book manuscript, The Bridge by Charlton Osborn, published in 1960. Ness began writing when she created a story for a series of woodcuts set in Haiti. Josephina February is the simple tale of a girl’s search for a lost burro. A Pocketful of Cricket and Tom Tit Tot were both chosen for Caldecott Honors. Ness wrote and illustrated Sam, Bangs & Moonshine in 1967, winning the Caldecott Medal.
She died in 1986. Her work is housed at the deGrummund Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi.