Painter and illustrator Gean Smith was born in New York State in 1851. He took one art lesson at the age of sixteen, which cost one dollar. In 1885, he moved from Chicago to New York, where he maintained a studio for many years. His paintings comprise a pictorial record of the champion racing horses of America. He also painted dogs and western animals. He exhibited at the National Academy in 1892 and 1897. He retired to Galveston, Texas, in 1923, where he died in 1928.