Harold von Schmidt was an illustrator and painter whose work appeared in several magazines and novels. While growing up in Alameda, California, Von Schmidt was encouraged to pursue art by his aunt. He studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and, later, at the San Francisco Art Institute. During his studies, he began working in advertising and, in 1913, Von Schmidt completed his first cover design for Sunset magazine. In addition to his artistic abilities, Von Schmidt also had athletic talent, joining the United States rugby team at the 1920 and 1924 Olympics.
Von Schmidt moved to