Lester Joseph Ambrose was born in Gardendale, New York. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. He was a newspaper artist during the 1910s and 1920s. He contributed to the 'Crazy Quilt' feature in the Chicago Tribune, which ran from April to June 1914. 'Crazy Quilt' was an unorthodox arrangement of strips and panels printed sideways, upside-down, criss-cross, etc. Notably, this feature used self-reflexivity; different artists working on individual strips interacted so that, for example: panel borders were breached by characters from one title entering a panel of another title, single panels that acted as the intersection between criss-crossing strips would include characters from both strips and would be incorporated into both storylines. The same year, he began his own feature, called 'Simp Simpson'.