Media File
Oliver Herford
Date: American illustrator and poet, 1863–1935
Biography: Writer, artist, and illustrator Oliver Herford (1860-1904) was born in Sheffield, England, to Rev. Brooke Herford and Hannah Hankinson Herford. His father was a Unitarian minister who moved the family to Chicago in 1876 and to Boston in 1882. Oliver attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, from 1877 to 1879. Later he studied art at the Slade School in London and the Académie Julian in Paris. He then he moved to New York, where he lived until his death.

He was noted for his illustrated whimsical poems on animal themes such as "The Chimpanzee" and "The Hen". His cartoons and humorous verses appeared in journals such as Life, Woman's Home Companion, Century Magazine, Harper's Weekly, The Masses, and Punch. He illustrated over 30 books, many of his own authorship, from the 1890s to the 1930s. Among his books were The Little Book of Bores (1906), The Rubaiyat of a Persian Kitten (1904) and "Excuse It Please" (1930).

Herford also wrote plays and was known for his humorous and pithy bon mots. He was a longtime member of the Players Club in New York City. His sister Beatrice Herford was also a humorist.

He married Margaret Regan in New York on May 26, 1904. Herford died on July 5, 1935 and his wife died the following December.