Tuesday, July 10, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Bert Mann

Bert Mann was the pseudonym of Herbert R. Kaufman according to the Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, Etc., New Series, Volume 6, Group 2, Numbers 22–25, June 1909 (below).

Kaufman was born on March 6, 1878 in Washington, D.C. as recorded on his World War II draft card and Social Security application, both viewed at Ancestry.com. In the 1880 U. S. Federal Census, Kaufman was the youngest of two sons born to Abram, a dry goods merchant, and Gertrude. The family resided at 1241 or 1247 Eleventh Street South East, Washington, D.C.

Who’s Who in America (1910) said his parents were Abraham Kaufman and Gertrude Raff. (I believe Kaufman’s middle name was Raff as it was common to take the mother’s maiden name.) He graduated from Emerson Institute in 1893, and Johns Hopkins in 1898. On August 12, 1900 Kaufman married Helen Herzberg.

Who’s Who identified Kaufman’s publishing activities. He headed the Herbert Kaufman newspaper syndicate in New York; served as the American adviser to C. Arthur Pearson, Ltd., in London; was a special American correspondent for the London Standard and American representative for W.T. Stead, also in London. Kaufman was associate publisher of Review of Reviews Encyclopedia and Continental Magazine. He was president of Herbert Kaufman & Handy Co., Chicago, since 1908; adviser to Frank A. Munsey, Chicago Tribune, as well as editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Record-Herald, and chain of syndicated Sunday papers.

Kaufman authored the songs Songs of Fancy, 1905; The Stolen Throne (with May Isabel Fisk), 1907; and Why Are You Weeping, Sister?

A similar listing appeared in The Book of Chicagoans: A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men of the City of Chicago, Volume 2 (1911).

National Magazine, September 1910, profiled Kaufman and Arthur Brisbane.

Not mentioned in the profiles was Kaufman’s Billiken and Bobby. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said the series ran from March 7 to September 19, 1909. The artist was Tod Hunter or Todhunter. In November 1908 Kaufman had copyrighted a number pieces, possibly posters based on the dimensions, with the characters Billiken and Bobby.

According to the 1910 census, Kaufman was the president of an advertising agency. He, his wife and son Herbert Jr. lived in Chicago at 4830 Kenwood Avenue.

On January 19, 1913, Kaufman returned from a trip to England where he had departed from Liverpool on the eleventh. The passenger list had his address as 12 East 46th Street, New York City.

The Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index at Ancestry.com, recorded Kaufman’s intended marriage to Alta Esther Rush on the intended date August 2, 1913. The couple visited England in 1914; they returned October 9, 1914 to the port of New York from Liverpool. Their home was in Chicago. The Tarrytown Daily News (New York), September 6, 1947 said Kaufman moved to Tarrytown in 1916.

On September 12, 1918, Kaufman signed his World War I draft card. He was a resident of Tarrytown, New York and lived on Cobbs Lane. Kaufman was employed as special assistant and writer to the Secretary of the Interior of the federal government. He was described as tall, medium build with blue eyes and brown hair.

The 1920 census said writer Kaufman was in Tarrytown on Cobbs Lane. His son, Herbert R. Jr., was five years old and daughter, Joan, four. Kaufman remained in Tarrytown until his death on September 6, 1947 according to the New York Death Index at Ancestry.com and the Tarrytown Daily News which said he passed away at home. The newspaper also said Kaufman was known “as an outstanding collector of original art and antiques and one of his special hobbies was chemistry.”

—Alex Jay


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