Leslie Ward, the son of two artists, E. M. Ward and Henrietta Ward, was born on 21st November 1851. After being educated at Eton, Ward trained under W. P. Frith. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and received commissions for portraits.
In 1873 Ward was recruited by the editor of Vanity Fair to replace Carlo Pellegrini (Ape). Ward, who signed his work Spy, contributed over 2,387 caricatures to Vanity Fair over the next forty years.
Leslie Ward, who was knighted in 1918, died on 15th May, 1922.