Born in North Carolina, James Ransome is a graduate of the Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration. While still a student at Pratt, James was one of twelve finalists out of two thousand selected to illustrate the annual Citibank calendar. After graduation, James continued to study painting at the Art Students League where his entry into the Society of Illustrators Annual Student Scholarship Competition received the Jellybean award.
Currently a member of the Society of Illustrators, James has illustrated numerous books for children, including Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt and Freedom's Fruit. His illustrations also appear on book jackets, greeting cards, puzzles and shopping bags, as well as in magazines and calendars. One of James's paintings is in the Charlotte (North Carolina) Public Library's permanent children's book art collection.
James currently lives in Poughkeepsie, New York, with his wife, Lesa, their two daughters, and their Dalmatian, Clinton.