Roger Hall was born in 1914. He began his career at a tender age, painting publicity images for front of house displays in cinemas from the age of 15. He was a self-taught artist and would spend his weekends studying portraits at the Tate and the National Gallery.
He went on to specialise in book illustration and worked for a range of different publishers, including Pan, Corgi and Mills & Boon. In 1955 he painted the first depiction of James Bond on a book cover – the first paperback edition of ‘Casino Royale’ for Pan.
He came to Ladybird fairly late in his illustrating career, taking over the illustration of many of the History series books after ill-health forced the retirement of John Kenney. When Ladybird decided to revise many of the History series books in the early 1980s, Hall was frequently commissioned to paint the cover illustration (uncredited) even when the rest of the illustrations were by another artist because it was felt that his style of painting was more likely to ‘sell’ a book to a child or parent.
He also illustrated The Story of Canals, Robert Louis Stevenson and Michael Faraday for Ladybird.
I am unsure when he died, although I believe he was in his nineties.