The following information was submitted in July of 2006 by his daughter Mary Grefe Fox:
Will Grefe was best known for his illustrations for all the leading magazines of his day. He started illustrating for the Saturday Evening Post in the early 1900's and painted a number of covers for them. He also did covers for Womans's World, Good Housekeeping, and illustrations for these, as well as for Cosmopolitan, and many others. His advertisements for Watkin's Mulsified Cocoanut Oil Shampoo always pictured beautiful women with long wavy red hair, usually scantily dressed (for that time). One of those ads featured the first lady wearing a negligee to appear on a bill board.
He illustrated over 100 books. Prints of his work were sold for framing, and adorned post cards, fans, calendars, playing cards, etc.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa on September 28, 1875, he demonstrated his talent at an early age, illustrating his composition books in school, and when a teenager, worked for an engraving company where he made all the cuts. He studied at The Art Students League in New York, and later in Paris, France, and Munich, Germany.
When he returned from Europe, he opened a studio in New York, and promptly started working for the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines. He continued to illustrate for the Saturday Evening Post into the mid 1930's.
Will Grefe died in Miami, Florida on April 9, 1957.