Walter Russell was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 19,1871. He studied at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts with Albert Munsell and Ernest Major. Accounts vary concerning where Russell studied with Howard Pyle; some state Drexel and others Wilmington. He is listed as a day student in the School of Illustration at Drexel in 1899. He also studied with Jean Paul Laurens at the Academic Julien in Paris. He became the Art Editor of Collier’s in 1897 and was a war correspondent for Collier’s and Century Magazine. He was also a sculptor and writer, illustrating several of the children’s books he wrote. In his later years he specialized in portraits of children.