Jack Butler Yeats, the son of the artist, John Butler Yeats and the brother of the poet W. B. Yeats, was born in London in 1871. Educated in County Sligo he moved to England where he studied art under Frederick Brown at the Westminster School of Art.
Yeats wrote and illustrated stories for books and magazines. In 1894 he produced the first cartoon strip version of Sherlock Holmes. He contributing to several newspapers and journals including the Manchester Guardian, the Daily Graphic, The Sketch, Cassell's Saturday Journal and Punch Magazine, where he used the pseudonym, W. Bird. He also edited and illustrated two monthly publications, Broadsheet (1902-03) and Broadside (1908-15).
After the First World War Yeats moved back to Ireland where he concentrated on painting and writing. Jack Butler Yeats died in Dublin in 1957.