Frederick George Richard Roth (1872-1944) was born in Brooklyn New York. He was educated in Germany and studied at both the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and the Royal Academy in Berlin. He exhibited at the Pan American Exposition of 1901 in Buffalo, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 in St. Louis, and the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. From 1934 to 1936 he was the head sculptor of the Department of Parks in New York City under the WPA project. He was president of the National Sculpture Society and a member of the Architectural League of New York and the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
His statue of Balto was unveiled on December 17, 1925, and was the first statue in the New York City to honor a dog. The black Siberian Husky became famous during the 1925 serum run to Nome, which saved the children of the city from a diphtheria epidemic.
The statue is bronze, and is set on a large granite rock near the entrance of Central Park at East 67th Street, by the Tisch Children's Zoo. A plaque on the front is engraved with seven sled dogs running through a blizzard, and the following words:
The statue is popular among tourists, especially children.