José Peñarroya was born in Forcall (Valencia). At age two he moved to Barcelona. He started out working at an animation studio between 1942 and 1944. He became one of the basic comic artists of Publisher Bruguera in 1947, when he created such characters as 'Don Pío' and 'Calixto'. A popular and long lived character, Don Pío was an office worker who had a dominating wife called Doña Benita. In 1948 he created the merry bachelor 'Gordito Relleno'. These characters first appeared in magazine Pulgarcito. 'Don Berrinche', a bad-tempered man, had a previous stage in El Campeón in 1948. Since 1951, Peñarroya created such series as 'Pedrusco Brutote' in the periodical El DDT.
In 1957 Peñarroya contributed 'La familia Pi' and other works to Tío Vivo, a magazine he and his Bruguera colleagues Cifré, Conti, Escobar and Giner self-managed for a spell. After this shared experience Peñarroya returned to Bruguera, where went on creating many other series and gag panels, carrying out his work until he passed away. He created female characters such as 'Floripondia Piripí' (Sissi, 1958) and 'Viborita' (Can Can, 1959). He turned out series related to sports like 'Pepe, el hincha', which appeared in 1962. This football-crazy character showed up in Tío Vivo, which was published by Bruguera at the time.
In addition, he created the bossy 'Don José Calmoso' (El Campeón de las Historietas, 1960) and the extremely gifted child 'Pitagorín' (Pulgarcito, 1966). Throughout his career, José Peñarroya also contributed his work to other publications than those of Bruguera, such as the daily El Noticiero Universal, a supplement of La Prensa called Aventuras and the magazine Tele-Radio.