British cartoonist and illustrator, best known for his political and social caricatures, cartoons and picture books. He left school at 16, and a brief period as a radar operator, he gained his technical drawing skills. When he started his National Service, which all young men had to do in the 1950’s, he completed the Percy V. Bradshaw Press Art School correspondence course, to hone his drawing skills. In 1954 he found work as a cartoonist in London and freelanced for various newspapers, his first cartoon was published in Manchester Evening Chronicle in 1956. His early work was just being signed ‘Stead’. In 1959 he enrolled at East Ham Technical College and London College of Printing and Graphic Arts. His work began to appear regularly in Private Eye and Punch in the 1960’s. In the early 1970’s, Steadman began a partnership with the American journalist, Hunter S. Thompson. He traveled around America with the writer, Hunter S. Thompson, illustrating his articles and books. They remained life long friends.
As Steadman’s career advanced, he began illustrating more books, record sleeves and in the 1980’s began a working with Oddbin’s, a wine merchant, on their advertising brochures etc. He won many awards for his work. He lives in Kent.
There is far more information on Ralph Steadmans’s personal web site.