James Henry Dowd was born in 1884. He worked as a draughtsman, etcher and painter. Dowd was a regular contributor to the The Daily Graphic and in 1906 began to have his work published in Punch Magazine. As Mark Bryant points out: "He (Dowd) was also the magazine's first illustrator of film criticism, continuing in this post for more than three decades and also drew theatre caricatures."
Dowd also produced drawings for The Bystander and The Strand Magazine. He also designed posters for London General Omnibus Company and London Underground Electric Railways. According to one critic he was "one of the early pioneers of the vital expressive line that seems to be part of the subject, instead of merely illustrating it."
Dowd provided the drawings for several books including the highly acclaimed Important People (1930) and People of Importance (1934).
James H. Dowd died in Epsom on 16th March 1956.