Herbert Morton Stoops was born May 28, 1887 on a ranch in Logan City, Utah. His father was Philip Dexter Stoops, born 1850 in Pennsylvania. His mother was Eliza Janet Stoops, born 1858 in Ohio. His parents married in 1886. He was the firstborn of their five children. His father worked as a ranch hand, but eventually became an ordained Presbyterian Minister.
In 1910 the family lived at 126 East 2nd South Street in Logan City, which is seventy miles north of Yellowstone Park.
After finishing high school he was sent to Utah State College, where he took art classes and graduated in 1905 at the age of 18. Soon after that his father died.
He first drew illustrations for a local newspaper, but soon moved to 428 Broderick Street in San Francisco, where he worked as a staff artist for The San Francisco Chronicle in 1910. He later worked for the San Francisco Examiner.
In 1914 he moved to Chicago to study at the Art Institute, while working as a staff artist for The Chicago Tribune.
In 1915 he joined Officer's Training at Fort Sheridan in Illinois. During the Great War, he served in France as a first lieutenant, 6th Field Artillery, First Army Division. He was a physically powerful man, who was prone to giving his friends heartfelt bear hugs. After the war he moved to New York City and married Elise Borough.
During the 1920s he illustrated interior stories for Colliers, Liberty, Cosmopolitan, McCall's, and Ladies Home Journal. He painted his first magazine covers for The American Legion Magazine.
In 1935, Stoops began to paint covers for Blue Book, which was one of the more literary pulp magazines.
He spent his summers painting in a rustic stone house that he built on Mason's Island, CT.
Some of his interior illustrations for Blue Book are signed with an assumed name that reflects his WWI experiences in France,"Jeremy Cannon."
His loose and vigorous Impressionist style of painting had a marked influence on many younger pulp artists, such as Charles DeFeo, A. L. Ross and H. W. Scott.
In January 1947 he began a fascinating project with Blue Book to paint a memorial cover for each of the forty-eight United States, Unfortunately he died before he could complete the series.
After a long period of failing health and several weeks of illness, Herbert Morton Stoops died in his art studio residence on 42 Barrow Street in New York City's Greenwich Village on May 19, 1948, only a few days before his sixty-first birthday.
© David Saunders 2009