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Bill Campbell was born and grew up at Bunker Hill, Massachusetts. Three years later his family and he moved to Chicago, Illinois. Campbell decided that he wanted to be an artist by the age of five. He always had a passion for transportation and the modern theme of it, and he usually incorporated it into his work. He had the hobby of photographing and sketching the trains and locomotives that came from Englewood Station and the early air transports at Chicago’s Municipal Airport. Campbell received his education and majored in Art and Music at Hyde Park High School. In the year of 1934, Bill Campbell was inspired when he saw The Hawk Model Company booth. Bill Campbell received a scholarship to attend the Chicago Art Institute. While attending this institution, Campbell was able to work with commercial illustrating that allowed him to realize that illustrating is something he wanted to do with his life. He graduated in the late 1930s. After graduating college, he was able to work several jobs and within several agencies around Chicago. He finally ended up in a job at Michigan Avenue Studio doing cartoon strip illustrations. It ended up being a scam though that the agent sell work and now pay Bill Campbell for. All of this was happening while the Great Depression was going on. He eventually was able to find a different job at Blomgren Studios. At night he attended the University of Chicago in order to study with Harold Bachmann who was the director of the Symphonic Band.