Mike Ludlow, American illustrator, was born in 1921 and grew up in Buffalo, New York. He attended the Art Students League, where he studied with William McNulty. His first commercial art assignment, for the Sunday supplement of the Journal American, came in 1948. From the beginning, Ludlow has specialized in glamorous subjects and made beautiful women his trademark.
Ludlow was a glamour illustrator who did much pin-up work in the late 1950s for Esquire. He painted the entire twelve-page calendar for 1957 - the last published by the magazine. His pin-ups also appeared in the series of three-page centerfolds known as Esquire's Lady Fair. For these works, Ludlow often called on actresses like Virginia Mayo and popular personalities like Betsy Von Furstenberg in addition to professional models.
Besides painting his Esquire pin-ups, Ludlow had another entire career as an illustrator of romance articles, providing pictures of beautiful women to mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping, Collier's, and Family Circle. From 1950-1960, he also painted many front covers for paperback novels, including among his clients Pocket Books, Dell Books, and Bantam Books. All his paperback covers had a strong air of sensuality and featured sexy pin-up girls as the main figures.