Gus Arriola was born in Arizona from parents of Mexican-American descent, and grew up in Los Angeles. After graduating from high school, he started working at the MGM Studios. Arriola created the character of 'Gordo' and sold it to United Features in 1941. This comic strip about a bean farmer/tour goude set in the Mexican countyside soon became very popular, and Arriola continued to draw it even after he was drafted for military service in 1942. He eventually retired from making the comic in 1985, and passed away in February 2008.