Ken Danby was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in 1940. He first exhibited an interest and talent in art during his elementary years at Cody Public School, where he became known as "the school artist". He began his studies at The Ontario College of Art in 1958. He spent two years at the college, leaving to support himself as an artist.
In 1964, Gallery Moos presented Danby's first solo show, all of his works were sold beginning a promising relationship between artist and dealer. His works can still be found there.
His work can be seen in major collectors, including private, corporate and museum collections. Today he is recognized internationally as one of the world's foremost realist painters, and one of Canada's best known artists. His subjects are often Canadian landscapes and culture. He works in oil as well as watercolours.
In 1997, Danby received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. In 2001, he was vested in both the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada. He is also a member of The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
He died in 2007 in the Algonquin Park region.