Mel Calman was born in 1931 in Stamford Hill to a Lithuanian mother and Russian father who had immigrated to London in 1912.
Following a period of National Service, Calman enrolled at the Borough Polytechnic Art School and later Goldsmiths and St Martin’s School of Art where he studied illustration.
From 1956 he worked as a freelance cartoonist and obtained his first newspaper work in 1957 for the Daily Express. In 1962 he began a collaboration with the Sunday Times and with the Sunday Telegraph the following year. During his career Calman has worked with the BBC, The Observer, Cosmopolitan and House & Garden.
From 1979 he began drawing a regular front page cartoon for The Times.
He died in 1994 aged 63.