Ray Billingsley was born in Wake Forest, N.C., and raised there and in New York City's Harlem. When he was twelve years old, he worked as an artist for Kids magazine. He studied at the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, as well as the School of Visual Arts. After his graduation, he got a job at the Walt Disney Studios in 1979. Billingsley drew the strip 'Lookin' Fine' from 1980 to 1982.
In October 1988, King Features started distributing his comic 'Curtis', which is now published in about 250 newspapers worldwide. 'Curtis' is one of the few comics featuring African-American characters, and this has earned Billingsley praise of his fans. Billingsley's comic stands out for its contemporary humor as well as its sensitive dramatization of serious social issues.