Ernest Howard Shepard OBE, MC is an English artist and illustrator. Born in 1879 in St Johns Wood, London, he attended Heatherleys School of Fine Art in Chelsea. He is best known for his human-like animal illustrations for The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne.
After receiving a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy Schools, Shepard produced illustrations for Aesop’s Fables, David Copperfield and Tom Brown’s Schooldays, as well as an illustration for Punch magazine.
In 1915 he received a commission in the Royal Garrison Artillery, part of the Royal Artillery; a year later, he started working for the Intelligence Department sketching combat areas. He was awarded the Military Cross for his outstanding service at the Battle of Passchendaele during World War I. Shepard continued to contribute to Punch during the war.
Shepard was recommended to Milne by another Punch staffer, and even though he was not too convinced by the illustrator’s style, he asked him to do a series of illustrations for the poem book When We Were Very Young. Happy with the results, Milne insisted Shepard illustrate Winnie-the-Pooh. Realising the illustrations contributed to the great success of the book, Milne arranged for Shepard to receive a share of the royalties.
Shepard was named Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1972 Queen’s Birthday Honours.