Born in 1938 in Oklahoma, Paul began a cartoonist’s club in high school with friends Russell Myers and Archie Goodwin. He won a scholarship to the School of Visual Arts, prompting a move to New York at age 17, where he studied with Philip Hays and Robert Weaver, as well as George Tscherny.
Paul’s first commissioned illustration was a pencil drawing which was published in the 1959 October issue of Playboy Magazine.
After graduating, Paul was hired by Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast in Push Pin Studios. He soon became in great demand as an illustrator for magazines, record album covers, book jackets, advertising and more, and in 1963 founded the Paul Davis Studio, with illustrations appearing in publications such as Life, Time, Playboy, Look, The Saturday Evening Post, Sports Illustrated, Evergreen Review, Harper’s, Harper’s Bazaar, Horizon, McCall’s, Show, Esquire, The New Republic, New York, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Mirabella, Fast Company and more.
His first solo show was in 1968, with the Galerie Delpire and his work has been the subject of many museum and gallery exhibitions in the world.
He became the Art Director of Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival from 1984 to 1992.
Paul’s work is in the poster collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
He has received the 1989 AIGA medal, and honorary doctorates from the School of Visual Arts and the Maryland Institute College of Art.