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Steig William

Steig William (19072003)  Shrek!

William Steig was a prolific American cartoonist, sculptor and, later in life, an author of popular children's literature.

Steig was born in New York City to Polish-Jewish immigrants who encouraged his artistic leanings. As a child, he dabbled in painting and was an avid reader of literature. Among other works, he was said to have been especially fascinated by Pinocchio. In addition to artistic endeavors, he also did well at athletics, being a member of the collegiate All-American water polo team. He graduated from Townsend Harris High School, but never completed college, though he attended three of them, spending two years at City College of New York, three years at the National Academy of Design, and a mere five days at the Yale School of Fine Arts before dropping out of each.

When his family became caught in financial problems during the Great Depression, he began drawing cartoons as a freelance artist, and sold his first cartoon to the New Yorker in 1930. He soon became quite successful, and over the coming decades, he would publish over 1600 cartoons in the magazine, including 117 of its covers, leading Newsweek to dub him the "King of Cartoons."

Steig was one of 250 sculptors who exhibited in the 3rd Sculpture International held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the summer of 1949.

Steig was a patient of the psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich and illustrated Reich's polemic, "Listen, Little Man."

In his 60s, he decided to try his hand at another artistic endeavor, and in 1968 wrote his first children's book. He excelled here as well, and his third book, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (1970), won the prestigious Caldecott Medal. He went on to write more than thirty children's books, including famously the Doctor De Soto series, continuing to write into his 90s. Among his other well-known works, the picture book Shrek! (1990) formed the basis for the widely successful Dreamworks Animation film Shrek. Shrek 2 honored him by incorporating his name near the end of the credits. "In memory of William Steig." The same was done in the sequel to Shrek 2, Shrek the Third.

From 1936-1949, he was married to Elizabeth Mead Steig, who was the sister of anthropologist Margaret Mead. They were the parents of jazz flutist Jeremy Steig and a daughter, Lucinda. Steig married three more times and had several more children.

Australia, 2004, Shrek

Austria, 2007, Shreck 3

Austria, 2007, Fiona and Shrek

Austria, 2007.06.21, Vienna. Shrek the Third

France, 2008, Puss in Boots and Donkey

France, 2008, Shrek

France, 2008, Shrek

France, 2008, Shrek

France, 2008, Shrek


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