Kate Seredy was born in Budapest to a multi-lingual family. Her grandparents were French, German, Slovakian, and Turkish, and all were active in some sort of political, religious, or personal rebellions. She earned an art teacher's degree at the Academy of Arts in Budapest. During World War I, she served as a nurse, then continued her studies around Europe. In 1922, she emigrated to the USA. She learned English quickly, ran a children's bookstore, and worked as a commercial illustrator and painter. In 1935, she met the children's editor at Viking Press, who encouraged her to write about her childhood in Hungary. Kate Seredy produced The Good Master, which she both wrote and illustrated. It was named a Newbery Honor book in 1935, a runner-up to Caddie Woodlawn, which Kate Seredy had also illustrated; another runner-up that year was Young Walter Scott, for which she had designed the book jacket and endpapers. In the course of her subsequent career, Seredy illustrated about 60 books and wrote a few more of her own, though she never considered herself a writer and thought of her stories as "an excuse for making pictures." One of her most famous is The White Stag, which won the Newbery Medal in 1938. She lived for many years at Listening Hill, a 100-acre farm near Montgomery, New York.