José Miguel Covarrubias was born 22 November 1904 in Mexico City. Following his graduation at the age of 14, from the elite Escuela Nacional Preparatoria, he began illustrating and drawing caricatures for lit pieces published by the Mexican government.
At 19 he moved to New York City with a Mexican government grant and enormous talent, speaking little or no English. He surmounted this handicap by being quickly discovered by members of Manhattan's Smart Set. He soon began illustrating for top publications.
Self portrait, mixed media, date unknown
The following images have been gleaned from the Vanity Fair archives. Vanity Fair's legendary editor, Frank Crowninshield, was one of Covarrubias' most influential clients and patrons.