William Scahill (Bill) Purdom was born in Charleston, West Virginia, on October 27, 1953. He grew up in Wyoming, Ohio, where by age 9, his artwork was attracting local attention. He graduated from Auburn University in 1975 with a degree in visual design. The next 19 years were spent working and living in New York City. His career started at Whistl’n Dixie Studio, where his art for Bloomingdale’s gained him international attention.
Used by every major advertising agency in New York, Bill has also illustrated billboards, movie posters, album covers and worked on national campaigns for Mercedes Benz, Nikon, Panasonic, American Express, and three major television networks. He was the first artist allowed by Steven Spielberg to paint the character “E.T.” (in a national campaign for McDonald’s). While living in New York he was a major contributor to The New York Times and his work appeared in many magazines, among them: Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Fortune, Time, Esquire, Sport and National Lampoon.
After 12 years of award winning advertising and editorial illustration, Bill turned his attention to fine arts. Since 1989, he has painted to date, 78 great moments in baseball, including 10 first pitch paintings of the various new ballparks that have opened around the country. His baseball lithographs have been seen on the television show Seinfeld, 8 Simple Rules, Everybody Loves Raymond, Arliss and the Oscar-nominated movie Moneyball. His originals hang in private collections worldwide and lithographs of all 78 of his paintings are a part of the permanent collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
In the last year, Bill became the most prolific artist in the history of the Topps Co., Inc. To date he has painted 340 baseball, football and basketball cards with projects scheduled for the next several years. Bill is the only artist who has been officially licensed by Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to commemorate the fallen hero. On QVC, when presented on-air, his eighty card set telling the life story of Dale Earnhardt sold 18,000 units in 15 minutes. His stein celebrating the life of Dale Earnhardt completely sold out, as did his framed lithograph of the great driver, which sold 54,000 units in 24 hours. Due to Bill’s uncanny ability to capture likenesses, his portraits are highly sought and in great demand.
Bill was a technical adviser for Billy Crystal’s Mantle and Maris movie “61”. On April 15, 2004, Major League Baseball, in an unprecedented combination of art appreciation and heritage celebration handed out 250,000 copies of Bill’s painting of Jackie Robinson’s first at bat to lucky fans in ball parks across America.
Most recently, the LA Dodgers became the latest team to start collecting Bill’s originals for their stadium luxury suites and the NBHOF chose Bill to create the “Official Painting” celebrating their 75th Anniversary. Bill resides by the ocean in Wilmington, North Carolina.