Jesse Santos began drawing professionaly at age 15. He did portraits of American GI's and Japanese soldiers who occupied his hometown.
Santos began his comics career in 1946 with the 'Kidlat' feature in Halaklak, the first Filipino comic book. Santos then joined Pilipino Komiks to create the detective strip 'DI 13' together with Damy Velasquez. The series became the country's most famous detective comic, and also knew several spin-offs, such as 'DI Jr, and even a movie adaptation.
Santos moved to the United States in 1969, where he joined Western Publications in 1970. He did the book illustrations for 'Davy Crockett', and illustrated Gold Key titles like 'Brothers of the Spear', 'Dagar', 'Dr. Spektor' and 'Tragg'. He also worked for 'Mystery Digest' and 'Red Circle Comics'.
He died on April 27, 2013 in San Fernando Valley, California at the age of 84.