Sukumar Ray was born in Calcutta on 30th October 1887. It was an exciting time to be born, as Bengal was then, in the late nineteenth century going through, what is now referred to as the Bengal Renaissance. Among the enlightened, educated Bengalis of the renaissance era---many of whom are also associated with the freedom movement---were versatile geniuses like Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Debendranath Tagore and later, Rabindranath Tagore, Jagdish Chandra Bose and Sarat Chandra Chaterjee.
He studied physics and chemistry and went to England to study printing technology. His father Upendrakishore Ray had set up one of the first printing establishments in Calcutta and had also brought out a children's magazine called Sandesh. When his father died, Sukumar picked up the reins at the press and continued publishing Sandesh.
Sukumar loved words and could rhyme with ease even as a child. He was as accomplished at writing plays and stories as he was at writing poetry, and he also beautifully illustrated his works.
His other great love was photography. He published several knowledgeable articles on the subject that were well received internationally and also went on to become a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 1922, a rare honour for an Indian in those days.
Between running a press and bringing out a magazine and writing and photography he also found the time to work actively for the Brahmo Samaj, a social and reformist movement begun by Raja Ram Mohun Roy.
Ray died of a serious disease at the age of thirty-six. Sandesh ceased publication two years after his death but was revived in 1961 by his son, the famous film-maker and author of numerous children's stories ---Satyajiy Ray.