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Owen began illustrating while teaching. The first book he ever illustrated was called Yr Hen Wraig Bach a'i Mochyn (The little old lady and her pig). In 1949, he and DJ Williams, published Hwyl (Fun), the first children's comic in the Welsh language. As well as running the comic, Owen wrote and illustrated many of the strips. Hwyl ran from 1949 until 1989, selling roughly 8,000 copies per issue.
Owen recieved many awards during his lifetime. In 1961 he was invested in the White Robe Order of Gorsedd y Beirdd. In the 1977 National Eisteddfod of Wales, in Wrexham, he was awarded the Syr T H Parry Williams Medal by the contribution to Welsh culture; and in 1985 he became the first recipient of the Mary Vaughan Jones Award, for his contribution to the field of children's books in Wales. He was awarded an honorary MA by the University of Wales in 1997.
Ifor Owen was born in Cefnddwysarn, Wales. He was educated at the Boys' Grammar School in Bala and then Bangor Normal College. He trained to be a teacher. He was married to Winifred, and had three children. Owen died in Dolgellau in 2007.