Thursday, October 11, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Frank Borth

Frank Mellors Borth was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 1, 1918. His birth date is from the Social Security Death Index. Borth identified his birthplace in interviews at the sites American Dream Show and The Catholic University of America (2006). Borth’s middle name, Mellors, was his mother’s maiden name which was recorded on his marriage certificate.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Borth was the only child of Frank and Mabel. His father was a automobile machinist. The family resided in Cleveland at 7018 Clark Avenue, the same address was in the 1930 census.

According to the 1940 census, the Borth family address was 3126 West 73 Street in Cleveland.

Regarding his education Borth said:

I attended Cleveland high schools and graduated, then attended the Cleveland School of Art. That’s where I learned to be an artist. It’s a four year term same as college. After the four years was up, I wanted to get into some employment for all of this artwork that I knew that I could do. You see, cause I had paid my way through art school by being a sign painter….
One of his classmates was Reed Crandall. Borth graduated in 1940 and moved to New York City in 1941 at the urging of Crandall. They shared an apartment on 37th Street near the Empire State Building. In the early 1940s, Borth’s comic book pages were published by Marvel, Harvey, Lev Gleason, Quality and others. After World War II, Borth drew numerous stories for Treasure Chest comic books from the 1950s through the 1960s.

During World War II, Borth enlisted in the army on March 1, 1943.

Borth married Barbara Ann Stroh on July 1, 1944 in Dauphin, Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania marriage record at Their marriage was noted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 2. A longer article about Borth’s marriage appeared July 16.

Home from their son's wedding in Harrisburg, Pa., are Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Borth, 3126 W. 73d Street. The wedding took place July 1 in Messiah Lutheran Church. The bride is the former Miss Barbara Ann Stroh, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Stroh. The bridegroom is Tech. Sergt. Frank Mellors Borth who is stationed at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation. His grandmother, Mrs. Katerine Borth, was among the Clevelanders at the wedding along with Mrs. Frank W. Flurry and Mrs. C.H. Keller.

Miss Priscilla Stroh was maid of honor for her sister, and the bridesmaid was Miss Janet Carpenter. Corp. Nicolai Shutorev was best man, and the ushers were Sergt. Constantine Callenicos, Segt. John Grietzer, Sergt. Edward Robbins and Sergt. Hyman Wasserman. A reception followed at the bride's home.

Miss Stroh received her bachelor's degree from Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pa., where she majored in biology. She is now assistant seed analyst in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Mr. Borth was graduated from the Cleveland School of Art and was an illustrator in New York before entering the army. He has recently completed a mural for the post service club.
Borth was discharged February 15, 1946.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Borth created the strip Ken Stuart which ran from September 8, 1947 to 1949. It was distributed by the Frank Jay Markey Syndicate. Later, Borth worked on There Oughta Be a Law which began with art by Al Fagaly who was followed by Warren Whipple. The strip was initially written by Harry Shorten. Borth did the scripting from 1971 to 1983.

In the 1980s and 1990s Borth’s illustrations appeared in publications including Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Amazing Stories, Cracked and Monsters Attack.

Borth passed away August 9, 2009, in Newville, Pennsylvania according to a September 2, 2009 obituary at The Social Security Death Index said Borth’s last residence was Dedham, Massachusetts, which was his son’s home town. 

—Alex Jay


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