Born in Los Angeles, California, on February 21, 1916, Cressey was a multidisciplinary artist known for his painting, ceramic and sculptural works. He served as a member of the U.S. Army in the South Pacific from 1943 to 1946, after which he sought a different path and pursued a career as an artist. Cressey received both his Bachelor of Art and Master of Fine Art degrees from University of Calfornia, Los Angeles. and remained there for several years as a teacher and studio technician. He also taught at Utah State University, California State College, Long Beach, as well as Mount St. Mary’s College where he became Chairman of the Art Department.