Rose Cecil O'Neill was born on June 25, 1874. She won a children's art contest at age thirteen, and began a weekly cartoon series for the Omaha World Herald. Her cartoons appeared in various national magazines. She drew her first group of clustered cupids, which she called 'Kewpies', in 1905.
Their public impact was sensational. Rose O'Neill claimed that the Kewpies appeared to her in a dream. She ended up drawing them for over a quarter of a century. During the First World War, she returned from Europe to the United States, where she became active in the campaign for women's rights. Rose O'Neill died on 6 April 1944.