Born in the Bronx, New York, Milton Glaser graduated from Cooper Union in 1951 and then studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna on a Fulbright scholarship. In 1957 he was a cofounder, with Seymour Chwast and others, of Push Pin Studios in New York, where he executed designs for record covers, books, and posters. His poster of Bob Dylan is one of the most memorable images of the 1960s, embodying for many people the spirit of that period.
Glaser and Push Pin Studios worked in an illustrative, often playful style that offered an alternative to the utilitarian spareness of the Bauhaus tradition, brought to the United States by Herbert Bayer and other graphic artists. As Glaser said, "I guess the revolutionary thing we did was to take the position that there is no single voice capable of expressing every idea, that romance is still necessary, ornament is necessary, and simplification is not better than complexity." Glaser has also been extremely active in the publishing field, coproducing the magazine Push Pin Graphic, as well as executing numerous magazine designs and serving as design director of the Village Voice.
Glaser's work has been featured in important exhibitions in Europe and America and has been acquired for the permanent collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He holds a number of honorary doctorates and has received the highest awards in his field, including gold medals from the American Institute of the Graphic Arts and the Society of Illustrators.
Therese Thau Heyman Posters American Style (New York and Washington, D.C.: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with the National Museum of American Art, 1998)