Osamu Tezuka was born in the city of Toyonaka, in Osaka, Japan, in November 3, 1928, and raised in Takarazuka, in Hyogo perfecture. He graduated from the Medical Department of Osaka University and was later awarded a Doctorate of Medicine.
In 1946 Tezuka made his debut as a manga artist with the work Ma-Chan's Diary, and in 1947 he had his first big hit with New Treasure Island. In over forty years as a cartoonist, Tezuka produced in excess of an astounding 150,000 pages of manga, including the creation of Metropolis, Mighty Atom (A.K.A Astro Boy), Jungle Emperor (A.K.A Kimba the White Lion), Black Jack, Pheonix, Buddha, and many more.
Tezuka's fascination with Disney cartoons led him to begin his own animation studio, creating the first serialized Japenese cartoon series, which was later exported to America as Astro Boy in 1963. Tezuka Productions went on to create animated versions of Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Emperor) and Phoenix, among others.
He recieved numerous awards during his life, including the Bungei Shunju Manga Award, the Kodansha Manga Award, the Shogakukan Manga Award, and the Japan Cartoonists' Association Special Award for Excellence. He also served a varierty of organizations. He was director of the Japan Cartoonists' Association, the chairman of the Japan Animation Association, and a member of the Manga Group Japan Pen Club, and the Japan SF Authors' Club, among others. Tezuka became Japan's "comics ambassador" taking Japan's comics culture to the world in 1980, he toured and lectured in America, including a speech at the United Nations.
Regarded as a national treasure, osamu Tezuka died on February 9 1989 at the age of 60. In April 1994, the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum opened in the city of Takruzaka where he was raised. His creations remain hugely popular in Japan and are printed in Many languages throught the world, where he is acclaimed as one of the true giants of comics and anaimation, his work as vital and influential today as it was half a century ago.
"Comicas are an international language," Tezuka said. "They can cross boundaries and generations. Comics are a bridge between all cultures."