Frederick Opper, the son of immigrants from Austria, was born in 1857. He first began contributing drawings to newspapers when he was fourteen years old. After spending eighteen years with Puck magazine, where he was influenced by the work of Joseph Keppler, Opper joined the New York Evening Journal, a newspaper owned by William Randolph Hearst.
Opper's cartoons in the New York Evening Journal often featured a little man labelled as the Common People. Although Opper worked for William Randolph Hearst for over thirty years (1899-1932), he also contributed drawings to other journals such as The Arena and the New York Journal American.
Frederick Opper died in 1937.