After studying at St. Virgil’s College in Hobart, Hook began working as a cadet press artist for the Hobart Mercury and completed a graphic art course at Hobart Technical College (now the Tasmanian School of Art, Faculty of the University of Tasmania), which included fine art training under the guidance of Jack Carington Smith, Margaret Chandler, Harry Bucky and Edith Holmes.
He began his career as a press artist and part-time cartoonist for Mercury, drawing under the name “Jeff”. He moved to Melbourne and started working at The Sun News-Pictorial in 1964. Soon after, Hook became a full-time cartoonist for The Sun News-Pictorial (it was later merged with the daily newspaper The Herald and became The Herald Sun). Soon after, Hook began hiding in his cartoons what became his “trademark” – a fish hook, and the search for a hidden fish hook became a widespread morning pastime among readers of The Sun News-Pictorial.
Hook first gained international recognition in 1967 for his cartoon about the end of the Six-Day War, The Three Wise Men, which was widely reprinted outside Australia, including in The Times.
In 1987, Hook received an award for humorous illustration at the Australian Black and White Artists Club Awards ceremony. Also in 1987, Jeff received the award for Best political cartoon at the International Cartoon Festival in Knokke-Heist, Belgium, and in 1991 he received the award for best cartoon for the press at the same festival.
Hook left the daily Herald Sun newspaper in early 1993, but continued to work as a freelancer, doing regular editorial cartoons for the Sunday Herald Sun, devoting his time mainly to drawing. This lasted until 2000, when he practically stopped drawing cartoons after holding his first exhibition at the gallery of the Australian Guild of Realist Artists (AGRA) and devoted himself entirely to drawing. Since then, Hook has exhibited extensively at regional art exhibitions and galleries in Australia, and in 2005 held a second exhibition at the AGRA Gallery.
During his career, Hook created many cartoons and illustrations for newspapers, magazines and 46 books, including two children’s books “Honkerzoid Harry” and “Planet Gonkerzoidov”, written by one of his sons, Brendan, and his own children’s book. Jamie the Jumbo Jet, which was first published in the mid-1970s and republished in 1998.
After retiring from caricature full-time, Hook was awarded the Australian Black and White Artists Club’s Silver Stanley Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1998, and on March 20, 2009, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Melbourne Press Club. In January 2012, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia “for services to print media as a political and social commentator and cartoonist.”
Hook was a life member of the Australian Black and White Artists Club (now the Australian Cartoonists Association), a life member of the Melbourne Press Club, a life member of the Media, Entertainment and Art Alliance, and a life governor of the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind. and Patron of the Amputee Association of Victoria . He was also a member of the Australian Guild of Realist Artists and the Peninsula Arts Society.
Reference: Wikipedia, 2018