Acclaimed American artist Jerry Pinkney was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 22, 1939. He began drawing as a four-year-old child, studied commercial art at the Dobbins Vocational School, and received a full scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum College of Art. After graduating, Pinkney worked in design and illustrations, helped found Kaleidoscope Studios, and later opened the Jerry Pinkney Studio. Pinkney is well-known as a childrens book illustrator and has created the art for over one hundred titles, including Julius Lesters John Henry, Sam and the Tigers, and The Old African, plus adaptations of Hans Christian Andersens The Little Match Girl and The Nightingale. He has won five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, four New York Times Best Illustrated Book awards, the Hamilton King Award, and many others. He received the Virginia Hamilton Literary award from Kent State University in 2000, the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion in 2004, and the Original Arts Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Illustrators in 2006. Pinkney was awarded the 2009 Caldecott Medal. In addition to holding numerous one-man retrospectives and exhibiting his work in more than one hundred international group shows, Pinkneys art resides in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Brandywine River Art Museum. He has taught art at the Pratt Institute, the University of Delaware, and the University of Buffalo.