Leo Lionni was born May 5, 1910, in Amsterdam, Holland. He came to the United States in 1939 and became a naturalized citizen in 1945. He attended schools in Holland, Belgium, the United States, Italy, and Switzerland. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from University of Genoa in 1935.
His career as a free-lance writer, designer, and painter lasted from 1930-39. He held positions as art director or design director for several companies from 1939-62. He was head of the graphics design department at Parsons School of Design in New York City, 1952-1954. Since 1959 he has been author and illustrator of children's books.
Leo Lionni wrote and illustrated more than 40 highly acclaimed children's books. He received the 1984 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal and was a four-time Caldecott Honor Winner--for Inch by Inch , Frederick , Swimmy , and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse . Leo Lionni died in October of 1999 at his home in Tuscany, Italy, at the age of 89.
Source Something About the Author 72:157-162.