Jean-Thomas "Tomi" Ungerer (28 November 1931 – 9 February 2019) was an Alsatian artist and writer. He published over 140 books ranging from children's books to adult works and from the fantastic to the autobiographical. He was known for sharp social satire and witty aphorisms. Ungerer is also famous as a cartoonist and designer of political posters and film posters.
Ungerer received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1998 for his "lasting contribution" as a children's illustrator.
Ungerer was born in Strasbourg in Alsace, France, the youngest of four children to Alice (Essler) and Theo Ungerer. The family moved to Logelbach, near Colmar, after the death of Tomi's father, Theodore—an artist, engineer, and astronomical clock manufacturer—in 1936. Ungerer also lived through the German occupation of Alsace when the family home was requisitioned by the Wehrmacht.
As a young man, Ungerer was inspired by the illustrations appearing in The New Yorker magazine, particularly the work of Saul Steinberg. In 1957, the year after he moved to the U.S., Harper & Row published his first children's book, The Mellops Go Flying, and his second, The Mellops Go Diving for Treasure; by the early 1960s he had created at least ten children's picture books with Harper, plus a few others, and had illustrated some books by other writers. He also did illustration work for publications including The New York Times, Esquire, Life, Harper's Bazaar, The Village Voice, and for television during the 1960s, and began to create posters denouncing the Vietnam War.
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