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William Steig (1907-2003)


William Steig (1907-2003)

The American artist, William Steig, first made his name with his highly original cartoons for
The New Yorker, and he worked regularly for that magazine for several decades. Gradually, he widened his reputation with his work as a draughtsman and sculptor. Then from his sixties, he gained an entirely new audience – and many prizes – as an illustrator and writer of popular children’s books, including Shrek! (1990), which proved the basis for the phenomenally popular series of animated films.
William Steig was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 14 November 1907, the third of four sons of Joseph Steig, a house painter, and his wife, Laura Ebel, a seamstress. Both Polish-Jewish immigrants, his parents had arrived four years earlier from Lemberg, Galicia, in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Though Joseph has been brought up in an observant Jewish household, he turned to atheism as a young man and became a committed socialist.

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