Hyman Segal was born in London in 1914 and attended the Jew's Free School (known today as JFS) in Camden Town, London. The JFS website notes: Not only is Hyman Segal an artist of genius, but he is an outstanding personality. He is fighting a lone battle against race bias, particularly the colour bar. He became blind at the age of nine, regained his sight, and eventually won the JFS Raphael Tuck Scholarship under the tuition of Mr S. Polak.

At the age of 12 he won a scholarship to study at St. Martin's School of Art, where other students included Leon Underwood and Vivian Pitchforth, and his artistic career broadened to include painting, sculpture and design. He was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and a National Registered Designer. In 1935 he was commissioned by London Transport to design a series of posters.

In 1946, on his return from war service in Africa he joined the St Ives Society of Artists, of which he was a committee member. In 1949 he was one of the founding members of the Penwith Society of Artists. He worked from 10 Porthmeor Studios and became known locally for his black and white drawings of people, fisherman and cats. He did live for a time in St Agnes, and for a while he provided art therapy for TB patients at Tehidy Sanatorium. His caricatures of pubgoers in St Agnes, drawn in the 1950's, were exhibited at St Agnes Museum in 2012 and copies of his famous caricatures of St Ives locals can still be seen in The Sloop Inn.

He died in December 2004 at the Edward Hain Hospital, St. Ives, aged 90.