Thomas Heine, the son of a prosperous Jewish businessman, was born in Leipzig in 1867. After training as a painter he contributed cartoons for magazines such as Fliegende Blatter and Die Jugend.
When Albert Langen, started Simplicissimus in 1896, he invited Heine to join the journal. Each week Heine provided the drawing that appeared on the front cover of Simplicissimus.
A strong opponent of right-wing nationalism, Heine often produced cartoons ridiculing Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. When Hitler gained power in 1933, Heine was forced to leave the country. Thomas Heine died in Stockholm in 1948.