Acclaimed photographer Russ Kendall was born in Texas in 1957, but grew up on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. From an early age he was interested in the world and other cultures, and he dreamed of running away and living with the Eskimos — something he would eventually get to do while working on his award-winning Eskimo Boy: Life in an Inupiaq Village. In school, Kendall thought he would grow up to be a forest ranger or a veterinarian; although he loved making pictures, he flunked his first photography class in tenth grade.
Kendall served in the Air National Guard in Massachusetts for six years, and studied at Cape Cod Community College and Boston University, majoring first in biology and later in journalism. After graduation, he worked as a photographer for newspapers in Anchorage, Alaska, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Kendall's first book for children was the well-received Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl, written by Kate Waters; the two have since collaborated on that book's many companion volumes. In Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast, words by Kate Waters and photographs by Russ Kendall help reconstruct the first Thanksgiving. For both Eskimo Boy and Russian Girl: Life in an Old Russian Town, he was able to spend several months at a time living in a world very different from home.
Russ Kendall now lives in Portland, Oregon. When he is not working or traveling to faraway places to take pictures, he enjoys kayaking, hiking, cooking, and playing bluegrass guitar.