Born in Detroit, Michigan, Hooks served with the U.S. military, including occupation duty in Germany, then began his freelance illustration career in New York City. He painted paperback covers for Avon, Bantam Books, Dell Books, Fawcett Publications and others, and illustrated for magazines including Cosmopolitan, The Saturday Evening Post, The Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, McCall's, and Woman's Day. He illustrated romance novels, science fiction and crime fiction, such as the Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer, Peter Corris's Cliff Hardy and B.B. Johnston's Superspade series.
Hooks illustrated the 36-page booklet How to Respect and Display Our Flag for the U.S. Marine Corps. He also designed film posters, including the first James Bond movie, Dr. No — for which he painted "the iconic image of Sean Connery as Bond" — and The Face of Fu Manchu.
Hooks was 89 when he died.
- "Mitchell Hooks (1923 - )" at AskArt.com. Retrieved on 22 March 2013.
- "Mitchell Hooks (1923-2013)". MIi6-HQ.com. March 22, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
- Reed, Walt (2001). The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000. The Society of Illustrators. p. 347. ISBN 978-0942604801. Via excerpt at AskArt.com.
- McKnight-Trontz, Jennifer (2001). The Look of Love:The Art of the Romance Novel. Princeton Architectural Press. p. 16. ISBN 1568983123.
- Avati, James. "Dare to Judge This Book: Great Paperback Cover Artists". ThrillingDetective.com. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
- U.S. Marine Corps, ed.; Mitchell Hooks, illustrator (1973). How to Respect and Display Our Flag. U.S. Government Printing Office. ISBN 978-0735250086.
- Nourmand, Tony (2004). James Bond Movie Posters: The Official 007 Collection. Chronicle Books. p. 11. ISBN 978-0811844659.
- "Hall of Fame". Society of Illustrators. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
- Mitchell H. Hooks Obituary
- Mitchell Hooks paperback covers
- Lovisi, Gary (1988, date n.a.). "A Visit with Mitchell Hooks". Paperback Parade (7) (Gryphon Books). Retrieved 22 March. . Reprinted with permission. Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
"The Paperback Art of Mitchell Hooks", Illustration Magazine 10