Biography: Charles DeFeo was born in New Castle, Delaware, to Italian immigrant parents. He studied under Howard Pyle in Wilmington, and continued his training in New York City. He lived there from 1912 as a story illustrator and pulp cover artist.
He became a well-known artist of wildlife and birds, some of which were used as calendar advertising for Seagrams Company. He also illustrated covers for sport and detective magazines. During the 1930s, he taught at the Grand Central School of Art.
DeFeo also had a reputation as a world-class fisherman and expert at hand-tying flies for the Atlantic salmon. He was friendly with baseball player Ted Williams; they traveled to South America on fishing trips. He was married to Bessie (surname unknown). His family stated that his marriage was kept secret because Bessie was divorced and disowned by her family when she married De Feo.