Richard Cuffari was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 2, 1925. He won numerous awards for his art work while a student at Madison High School. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army. He graduated from Pratt Institute in 1949. He illustrated his first children's book, The Wind in the Willows, in 1966. During his lifetime, he illustrated over 200 children's books, specializing in historical and non-fiction books. He received several awards including the Society of Illustrators' Citation of Merit in 1969 and 1970 and the Christopher Award in 1973. He died in 1978 at the age of 53.