Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Frank King
Frank Oscar King was born in Cashton, Wisconsin on April 9, 1883, according to Who's Who in Chicago and Vicinity 1936. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the oldest of two sons born to John and Caroline. They lived in Tomah, Wisconsin at 1710 Superior Avenue. His father was a mechanic. The New York Times, June 25, 1969, said
Who's Who said he graduated from high school in 1901, and attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts in 1905 and 1906. The Minneapolis Journal (Minnesota), March 20, 1905, mentioned King's chalk talk at a St. Patrick's Day celebration. The Wisconsin Biographical Dictionary (2008) said:
…by the time he decided to pursue his studies at the academy, he had been working as a cartoonist at the Minneapolis Times for five years, beginning in 1901 when he was eighteen."
In 1906, he worked for a short time at an advertising agency then became a staff member of the Chicago Examiner. He stayed until 1909, and then switched to the Chicago Tribune where he had his own weekly cartoon.
As to biography—here goes. Birthplace, Cashton, Wis., but tired of the town and moved to Tomah one month later. High chair, measles and arithmetic there, also higher education culminating in learned essay at graduation from high school entitled "Newspaper Art." It embraced everything I had learned since and much more. Stuck type for Tomah Journal and spent four years in art department of Minneapolis Times. Left to go to art school in Chicago, and Minneapolis Times collapsed one month later. Three years with Hearst but he didn't know it. Then The Chicago Tribune, Motorcycle Mike, Bobby Make-Believe, Rectangle, Gasoline Alley, Walt and Skeezix.
Who's Who said he married Delia Drew, of Tomah, on February 7, 1911. The Evanston (Illinois) Directory 1917 listed him as a cartoonist at 611 Madison. He signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. His address was in Glencoe, Illinois at 533 Madison. His occupation was newspaper cartoonist at the Chicago Tribune. He was described as medium height, slender build with gray eyes and black hair.
King lived in Glencoe at 533 Madison Street, according to the 1920 census. He was a newspaper cartoonist. His son was nearly four years old. The Rockford Register-Gazette, April 7, 1923, published an article about vehicle license numbers. It noted the numbers of the following cartoonists:
John T. McCutcheon, noted Chicago cartoonist, carries license No. 10 on his Studebaker…Number 348, of "Doc Yak" fame, is held by Sidney Smith, Chicago Tribune cartoonist and creator of the "Doc Yak" strip and now author of the Gumps. Number 354, which appears on Andy Gump's chariot, is held by Frank O. King, Glencoe, also a cartoonist on the Tribune.
Another of Kissimmee's favorite sons, Frank O. King, creator of the "Gasoline Alley" cartoon strip, lived between Kissimmee and St. Cloud for more than 20 years. King's Highway runs south from Neptune Road to the more than 230 acres that included the cartoonist's Folly Farm estate on the northeast shore of Lake Tohopekaliga.
The cartoon's banker, a Mr. Enray, was a caricature of one of King's neighbors, N. Ray Carroll, president of what then was the First National Bank of Kissimmee. Carroll—and Mr. Enray—gave out saving advice as well as loans….
…The comic strip banker guided the strip's main character, Skeezix Wallet, as he ran his fix-it shop, named Wallet and Bobble….
Life magazine, February 16, 1942, covered the growth of Skeezix from infancy to age 21. The 1945 Florida State Census counted King and his wife; his occupation was cartoonist. In 1949 the National Cartoonists Society awarded the Silver T-Square to King.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles