Don Blanding (1894-1957) was born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He graduated from high school in 1912, and then went on to the Art Institute of Chicago. After he saw the play, ‘The Bird of Paradise,’ in Kansas City, and its portrayal of Hawaii, he left for the Islands. In Honolulu he worked as a cartoonist for the Honolulu Advertiser, painted portraits, and produced an amateur play for the Junior League. He returned to the mainland as a private in an U.S. Army Infantry unit in 1917. He subsequently was sent to Camp Grant, Illinois, for officer training and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant, but the Armistice was signed before he was scheduled for overseas duty.
Following his discharge from the Army, he went to Europe in 1918 to study art in Paris and London. In 1921 he returned to Honolulu and over the next several years he was in newspaper work and had many books of poetry published. He was married in Florida, June 13, 1940, to Dorothy Putnam. He traveled extensively and lived in many different places, spending the last years of his life in Los Angeles.