Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Russell Patterson and his familly eventually moved to Canada. After one year of studies at the McGill University, Patterson started his cartooning career with the weekly Standard. He went to the Montréal daily La Patrie, a few weeks later, where he created his first comic strip, 'Pierre et Pierrette'. After being turned down by the Canadian army, he went to study at the Chicago Art Institute. From 1920 to 1925, Patterson lived in Paris, France, where he studied under Claude Monet and painted oils. Back in Chicago, he did some illustration work until in 1951, when Patterson tried his hand at a comic strip again, the stylish 'Mamie' for United Feature Syndicate. The strip was discontinued in 1956.