William B. Watterson II was born in 1958 in Washington D.C. He was the younger brother of two children. When he was just 6 years old he moved to Chagrin Falls, Ohio. His father was a patent attorney. Watterson attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 1976-1980. There he received a B.A. in political science.
After college, he worked six months for the Cincinnati Post as a political cartoonist, but he was fired. After being rejected on several other strips, he finally succeeded with Calvin and Hobbes in 1985. Calvin and Hobbes helped Watterson win the 1986 and 1988 Reuben Award for "Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year" by the National Cartoonists Society. In 1986, he was the youngest recipient to ever win the award. Watterson was also nominated for the 1992 Reuben Award.
He has stopped creating more Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. The strip was carried in more than 2,400 newspapers when it stopped publication on January 1, 1996.