Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Walt Munson

Walter Frederick “Walt” Munson was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on October 4, 1897. His birthplace was recorded on passenger lists found at Ancestry.com, and his birth date is from the Social Security Death Index and U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Death File.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Munson was the youngest of four children born to Lewis, a brass finisher, and Anna. In subsequent censuses, Munson’s father’s name was spelled Louis. The family resided in Waterbury at 227 South Main Street.

Manhattan, New York City, at 78 East 119th Street, was the home of the Munson family in the 1910 census. Munson’s father was a laborer at a plumbing house. At some point, the family returned to Connecticut. Information about Munson’s education and art training has not been found.

The 1917 State of Connecticut Military Census said Munson resided in Waterbury at 177 Walnut Street. His description was single, 19 years old, five feet nine inches and 150 pounds. The Department of Veterans Affairs Death File said Munson served in the Navy from August 20, 1917 to July 15, 1919. An account of his service was published in Service Records, Connecticut: Men and Women in the Armed Forces of the United States During World War, 1917-1920.

Munson has not been found in the 1920 census. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Munson produced the panel, Such Is Life, which ran from October 1, 1923 to March 14, 1936. The panel also appeared in the comic book, Famous Funnies. Such Is Life was also known as Life’s Byways and Time to Crab. Another comic book product was Munson’s Dinky which appeared in Funny Pages. Munson’s sports cartoons appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.



Munson visited Cuba in 1926 and 1932, and Bermuda in 1928. According to the passenger lists, he lived in West Haven, Connecticut, at 30 Washington Avenue.

In the 1930 census, that was the address of his parent’s residence. Bachelor and cartoonist Munson, his brother, George, his wife and two children were in their parent’s household.

The San Diego Evening Tribune, February 18, 1932, mentioned Munson in the column, “Looking ’Em Over with Skipper Redgap”.

Walt Munson, ex-commissary steward in the navy, is one of the nation’s “big shot” cartoonists. He draws for a national syndicate, and contributes to many national magazines, including Our Navy, the leading publication of the naval service for the past 30 years.
Postcard by Munson published by Tichnor Bros. of Cambridge, MA; image supplied by Evan Schad

Munson was the only child living with his parents in the 1940 census. Their address was unchanged. Munson continued as a freelance cartoonist whose highest level of education was the eighth grade.

Munson passed away January 27, 1975, in New Haven, Connecticut, as recorded in the Connecticut Death Index.

—Alex Jay


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