The author of The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody, he is particularly known for his satirical work on the subjects of historical figures and nature. His humorous books include How to Tell Your Friends from the Apes and Murder Without Tears: An Anthology.
He started out as a book critic for the New York Herald Review, and was persuaded by his assistant to start writing fiction himself.
He was more comfortable writing his numerous humorous historical articles than book-length works; his magnum opus, Decline and Fall, was still unfinished at the time of his death.
His father's brother lost his life in the Union Army during the Civil War, and Will Cuppy was named in his deceased uncle's honor.
CBS's reporter Edward R. Murrow enlisted his colleague Don Hollenbeck to take turns reading Decline and Fall on the air until the announcer cracked up.