Thursday, November 17, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Dave Quinn

Harold David “Dave” Quinn was born in Toledo, Ohio on October 2, 1926, according to the Social Security Death Index. In the 1930 U.S. Federal Census he was the fourth of six children born to Robert and Lovie. His father was a laborer. The family lived in Toledo at 227 Oakdale Avenue.

The 1940 census recorded the family of ten in Toledo at 1025 Ironwood Avenue. His father worked at an auto parts factory. On November 19, 1942 his mother passed away. Regarding Quinn’s education, The Blade (Toledo, Ohio), August 1, 2001, said: 

He attended Waite High School for three years and finished his senior year at Scott High School…[and] 1944.
Mr. Quinn played…on his high school football teams, earning an athletic scholarship to Wilberforce University. He attended…college briefly and then was drafted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was a gunner on a bomber in the Pacific Theater.
After the war, he returned to Toledo and attended the former Laingor Commercial Art Studio & School in downtown Toledo, graduating in the late 1940s.
According to the U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca. 1775-2006 record at, he had the rank of corporal. The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, Volume 2, Part 1B, Number 1, Pamphlets, Serials and Contributions to Periodicals, January–June 1948 had this entry:
Swing Papa [Comic strip by] Dave Quinn [and] Owen Dell Shaw [pseudo.] (In The Toledo Sepia City Press) © Story Script Syndicate. © 3Apr48; B5-5591.
In her paper, "Swing Papa and Barry Jordan: Comic Strips and Black Newspapers in Postwar Toledo", Angela M. Nelson wrote:
Swing Papa was featured in the Toledo Sepia City Press, a black independent newspaper, and was syndicated with the Story Script Syndicate….Swing Papa appeared in consecutive issues of the newspaper from April 2, 1948 to August 7, 1948. The creators of Swing Papa were Harold Quinn, a Toledo World War II veteran, and O'Wendell Shaw, former editor of the Ohio State News and current editor of the Toledo Sepia City Press.
…In the short span of the Swing Papa series, bandleader-hero Bret Harvey travels by train and taxi cab through the streets of Toledo, his main romantic interest is Marta Grayfield, and he is opposed by two robbers who serve as adversaries and assisted by police who act as his allies. Swing Papa includes elements of adventure much like Steve Canyon but somewhat downplayed because of the romance formula also used.
Quinn married Ottabee in 1949. His father passed away on December 5, 1961, in Toledo. His marriage ended in divorce in December 1970. The Blade said:
Quinn worked at the former Ace Sign Co. for 20 years. He was vice president and co-owner of the former Creative Arts and Signs, which specialized in signs, art, and truck lettering. He owned his own business—Dave Quinn and Associates—during the 1970s.
...He retired [in] the 1980s, his brother, Lawrence Quinn, who is a draftsman, said.
Quinn passed away on July 29, 2001, in Toledo, where he was buried at the Historic Woodlawn Cemetery, according to the U.S. Veterans Gravesites at

—Alex Jay


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