Bellew worked as an illustrator and cartoonist for a variety of different journals including Frank Leslie's Illustrated, Harper's Weekly, Scribner's Magazine, and Puck Magazine. Bellew also published a book, The Art of Amusing (1866).
Charles Dickens commented that: "Frank Bellew's pencil is extraordinary. He probably originated more, of a purely comic nature, than all the rest of the artistic brethren put together." Drawings of Abraham Lincoln that exaggerated his height, were particularly popular. Frank Bellew died on 29th June, 1888.