A children's poet, short story writer, and essayist, he is best known for works such as "The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat" and "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod." Many of his poems were set to music and achieved great commercial success.
He attended the University of Missouri, where he worked as a journalist for the St. Joseph Gazette. He penned his famous poem, "Lovers Lane," early in his career.
He once wrote for the Chicago Daily News.
He was born in St. Louis, Missouri. With his wife, Julia Comstock, he had eight children.
He was a contemporary of fellow children's author, Roald Dahl.