Walter Graham was born in Toledo, Illinois in 1903. He was raised in Chicago where he attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts Institute and then as well received private instruction. He became an illustrator for Street and Smith Publishers which included works for “Western Story,” “Western Life,” and “Appaloosa News.” In 1939, he helped form a commercial art studio in Chicago. During the summers, he went to Wyoming and Montana to paint and sketch. In 1950, he decided to become a full time artist of animals and historical subjects of the west. Having sold his interest in the commercial art studio he then moved to the west coast where commissions for paintings, murals, and sculpture were frequent.