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Sun, 08.22.1880

George Herriman, Cartoonist born

George Herriman

*George Herriman was born on this date in 1880. He was a Black cartoonist.

Herriman was born in New Orleans, LA.  At an early Agee, his Creole family soon moved to California. As a teenager, he contributed drawings to local newspapers.  In his early 20s, he moved to New York City and freelanced until newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst hired him for the New York Evening Journal.  During the first decade of the 20th century, Herriman’s first success was called The Family Upstairs.

Krazy Kat gained independence on October 28, 1913, as a cartoon character of his own and ran until Herriman's death. Krazy Kat never achieved wide popularity among newspaper readers, though it attracted a highbrow following.  Fans included Pablo Picasso, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank Capra, H. L. Mencken, and Ernest Hemingway.  Krazy Kat's lengthy tenure owed much to Hearst's love of the strip. Acceptance by the cultural mainstream grew after Herriman's death, as Krazy Kat appeared in an animated series by Paramount Studios and even in a novel.

Many have said his comic strip Krazy Kat is America’s greatest cartoon.  Throughout the 20th century, cartoonists have considered Krazy Kat the founding father (or mother) of sophisticated comic strips.  George Herriman died in 1944.

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