Jim Davis was born on July 28, 1945 In Marion, Indiana. He grew up on a small farm where his father raised black angus cows and his mother raised 25 cats. At a young age, asthma forced him inside and to entertain himself, he began to draw. Not well at first, but well enough to know he liked it and could become good at it. After college, Davis went to work for an advertising agency for two years. During his two years at the agency, Davis drew a comic called "Gnorm Gnat" which ran in one newspaper. Davis was unable to sell the comic to more papers, but he continued to draw it for five years. On June 17, 1978, "Garfield" a comic about cats, began circulating in 41 newspapers. It now appears in over 2600 newspapers worldwide and is the most widely syndicated Sunday comic in the U. S.. Garfield has had dozens of bestselling books, a CBS television series and 13 prime time specials. 33 Garfield books have appeared on the New York Time's Bestsellers List, 11 hitting number 1. Seven titles appeared simultaneously on the list in 1983. Davis has won four Emmys for writing in the Outstanding Animated Program Category for "Garfield on the Town" in 1983, "Garfield in the Rough" in 1984, "Garfield's Halloween Adventure" in 1985, and "Garfield's Babes and Bullets" in 1989. The "Garfield and Friends" animated series debuted in 1988. In 1981, Davis created Paws, Inc., a watchdog company for Garfield merchandise and artwork. Also in 1981 and again in 1986, Davis was named Best Humor Strip Cartoonist of the Year by the National Cartoonist Society. In 1985, the NCS gave him the Elzie Segar Award for Outstanding Contribution Made to the Cartoon Industry. Davis received the prestigious Reuben Award for Outstanding Strip of the Year in 1989. Each of his thirteen prime time specials have been nominated for Emmys on top of the four he has won. In 1990, Davis was given the Good Steward Award by the National Arbor Day Foundation for his efforts in the reforestation of Indiana. He is also involved with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Federation's "Build a Schoolyard Habitat" campaign. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities gave Davis the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1985 for dedication to higher education, and in 1991, Ball State University and Perdue University awarded Davis honorary doctorate degrees.Edward Steinfeld is the director of the IdeA Center in Buffalo, New York.