Eric Hill fact file

7th September 1927 to 6th June 2014

Eric was born in London, and attended Pooles Park Elementary and Tollington Park Central schools until the outbreak of World War II.


At the age of 12, Eric was evacuated from London to the small village of Bluntisham in Huntingtonshire prior to the outbreak of hostilities in 1939.

Eric returned to London in early 1940. He left school at 15 to start his first job with a shipping office in the City. At he 16 joined an art studio as a messenger where he was encouraged to draw cartoons in his spare time.


After a stint with the Royal Air Force, Eric returned to the studio again and his cartooning work began to be published in national magazines and newspapers. He started a weekly strip for the London magazine Illustrated and did small story sketches for Lilliput and other national magazines.

Eric’s next career move was in advertising. However, he eventually decided to work for himself freelancing as an art director, graphic designer and illustrator.

In 1976, Eric’s son Christopher was born. Eric was inspired to create a story of a puppy incorporating a flap design, after noticing Christopher’s fascination with lifting paper flaps. In 1980, Where’s Spot? was published, and the success of this lift-the-flap classic convinced him to become a full-time author. Eric’s Spot books have been enjoyed by children around the world ever since, selling over 60 million copies worldwide in over sixty languages.


As well as his son Christopher, Eric also has a daughter, Jane, who worked closely with her father on many Spot projects. Eric remained involved in the development of all Spot projects at every stage. He and his wife Gillian divided their time between California and France with a varied collection of animals which provided continual inspiration for the Spot stories.


Eric was one of the ‘literary ambassadors’ invited to The Children’s Party at the Palace to commemorate The Queen’s 80th birthday at Buckingham Palace in June 2006. This highlight of Eric’s career was being appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for Services to Children’s Literature in the 2008 New Year’s Honours List.