Lillian Hoban (1925-1988) was born and raised in Philadelphia. She became interested in drawing at a young age, taking classes at the Graphic Sketch Club before going on to the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. After their marriage, Russell and Lillian Hoban moved to New York City, where Lillian studied modern dance and later became a member of Martha Graham’s troupe. In 1961 she provided illustrations for Russell’s Herman the Loser
, eventually illustrating or co-writing twenty-six books with him and illustrating nearly one hundred more for other writers, including several by her daughters Phoebe and Julia. In later years, Lillian was celebrated for her stories of Arthur the chimpanzee and his sister Violet, as well as for dozens of other books she wrote and illustrated. She lived in New York City and Wilton, Connecticut, until her death in 1988.