American painter James Brooks was born in 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri. He moved to New York City in 1926 and began attending night classes the following year at the Art Students League. Beginning in 1936, he collaborated with Jackson Pollack who was a great influence to Brooks throughout his career. From 1946-1948 he was the instructor of drawing at Columbia University in New York City, during which time he married painter, Charlotte Park. James Brooks died in 1992 in the East Hamptons in New York.