Born in Brooklyn, he graduated from Columbia University in 1940. He worked as an editor at Dell Publishing and served as a bomber pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II, flying 40 missions over Germany. After the war he rejoined Dell and edited Modern Screen. He also began drawing cartoons on weekends, selling them to The Saturday Evening Post. Then starting in 1956, he became a cartoonist for The New Yorker and is best remembered for his work for the magazine, which included 92 covers and more than 700 cartoons. Many of his cartoons can be found in three collections: Oh, Happy, Happy, Happy! (1960), One Man's Fancy (1970), and Honesty Is One of the "Better" Policies: Saxon's World of Business (1984). He also drew numerous ads for American Airlines, Bankers Trust, I.B.M., Xerox and other companies. As his New York Times obituary noted, "So ubiquitous was his advertising work in the late 1970s that one edition of The Wall Street Journal featured ads by Mr. Saxon for three different companies."
He received the National Cartoonist Society Advertising Award for 1977, and their Gag Cartoon Award for 1980, 1986, and 1987. For his work with The New Yorker, he received their Reuben Award for 1980.
He was married to Nancy Saxon a children's writer and artist.
Saxon died of heart failure on December 6, 1988, at St. Joseph Medical Center, Stamford, Connecticut.
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