Frederick Ronald Eng was born Ng Quong You on February 25, 1917 in Namchieu, China. His father, Ng Yook Fay, was born in 1875 in China. His mother, Sui Yook Won, was born in 1895 in China.
In 1920 at the age of three, his mother left China with he and his younger sister and moved to the United States to join the father in San Francisco, where he worked as a dressmaker. The father's U.S. citizenship entitled him to become a Naturalized Alien.
In 1935 he graduated from Union High School, after which he received a scholarship to attend the California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco.
In June of 1941 he graduated from the college and moved to New York City to seek his fortune as a commercial artist.
He looked for work in advertising, but on December 7, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, after which the United States entered WWII.
In 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, which appreciated his college diploma and selected him for Officer Candidate School. He received basic training in a camp in Florida and was then sent to New York University to study map making and statistics. While at NYU he met Ruth Hunter. She was born on June 1, 1917 in New Madrid, Missouri, and was studying voice at the Julliard School of Music. She found him handsome, engaging, and was always wearing an infectious smile. He was also a great tennis enthusiast. They were married in NYC in 1943, by which time he was 2nd Lieutenant. In 1944 he attended Harvard University Graduate Statistical School, after which he was sent overseas to Morocco, where he served as Statistical Officer in the Army Mapping Department.
After the war he returned to NYC to seek his fortune as a commercial artist. He and his wife moved to Tivoli, NY, where they bought a home and raised five children - Michael, Hunter, Anthony, Frederick, and Laura.
His stylish illustrations were published in mainstream national magazines, such as Collier's Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, House Beautiful, McCall's, Coronet, and Reader's Digest.
During the 1960s classic illustration art became unfashionable, so he began to work as a photographer. His photographs were published in Esquire, Seventeen Magazine, and Good Housekeeping.
By 1974 he retired from commercial illustration and began to spend the cold winter months in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he was able to enjoy tennis year round.
Fred R. Eng died of a heart attack at the age of seventy-seven in Florida on February 16, 1995.
© David Saunders 2013