Leonard Hjalmar Edgren was born in Illinois on January 10, 1880, according to Edan Hughes (Artists in California, 1786-1940). He was the younger brother of Robert, the sports cartoonist and writer. The Edgren family resided in St. Paul, Minnesota, as recorded in the 1885 Minnesota Territorial and State Census. He was the third of four children born to John Alexis and Anna.
In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived in Oakland California at 1319 Filbert Street. Edgren was a student at the time. The date of his move to New York City is not known; according to an E&P 1939 obituary, his brother Robert "became associated with the old New York Evening World in 1904 as sports editor." Young Edgren's strip, The Sorrows of Solomon Swellhead, began in 1904. On January 26, 1908, Reverend Edgren passed away; he was the founder of the Swedish Baptist Theological Seminary of Chicago. The Oakland Tribune obituary said that his sons were in New York.
Edgren resided in Brooklyn, New York at 136 State Street, according to the 1910 census. At some point he returned to California. Hughes wrote, "Due to shock from a gall bladder removal, he died in San Mateo, CA on Jan. 6, 1918."
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