Elton Clay Fax was an illustrator, cartoonist, and author. Fax was born in 1909, in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Mark Oakland Fax and Willie Estelle Fax. His father was a stevedore at the Baltimore Railroad Depot; his mother was a seamstress.
After graduating from Frederick Douglass High School in 1926, where he was classmates with Cab Calloway. Fax attended Claflin College in Orangeburg, South Carolina, but transferred to Syracuse University, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1931. Soon after college, he was featured in a solo art show at the offices of the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper.
Fax later taught at the Harlem Community Art Center in New York beginning in 1934 and was involved with the Works Project Administration Federal Art Project. He also worked as an illustrator for several magazines including the Story Parade, All Sports, Child Life, and numerous others.
Fax toured Latin America in 1955 and was a lecturer in East Africa in 1963, both times sponsored by the US State Department. Also in 1963, he toured Nigeria with jazz musician Randy Weston, sponsored by the American Society of African Culture. Fax married Grace Elizabeth Turner in 1929. They had three children together. He would later marry second wife Elizabeth V. Murrell, a social worker. Elton Fax died in 1993, age 83, in Queens, New York.