A native of Philadelphia, Jerry Pinkney studied at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts). In 1992 he received their prestigious Alumni Award. Jerry has been illustrating children’s books since 1964, with over 100 titles to his name. He has been the recipient of five Caldecott Honor Medals, give Coretta Scott King Awards and three Coretta Scott King Honor Awards. His books have been translated into 11 languages and published in 14 different countries. Furthermore, he has received seven awards for his body of work. In 2003 he received the Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the Arts Institute of Boston at Lesley University. Also, Jerry was a United States nominee for the 1997 Hans Christian Anderson Illustration Medal; and was awarded four Gold Medals, four Silver medals and the Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators.
In addition to his work in children’s books, Jerry has had over 31 solo retrospectives at venues ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago to the California African American Museum (Los Angeles), he has exhibited in over 100 group shows in the USA, Japan, Russia, Italy, Taiwan, and Jamaica. Jerry has illustrated for a wide variety of clients, including the U.S. Postal Service, National Park Service and National Geographic. He was invited to create a painting for the 30th Bologna Book Fair, Bologna, Italy, and the NASA Art Collection at the John F. Kennedy Space Center. He was appointed to serve on the U.S. Postal Service Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee (1982-1992). In 2001, Jerry was invited by Laura bush to illustrate and design the White House Christmas Program. He was held professorships teaching at Pratt Institute, the University of Delaware and the University at Buffalo. In 2003, Jerry was appointed to the National Council of the Arts.
His works have been featured in The New York Times Arts Section, American Artists Magazine, The Horn Book Magazine, The CBS Sunday Morning Show and PBS Reading Rainbow Room. He is also a trustee for the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, The Katonah Museum of Art and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. He lives with his wife, author Gloria Jean, in Westchester County, New York.