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 Milton Caniff

Milton Caniff

Birth
Hillsboro, Highland County, Ohio, USA
Death 3 Apr 1988 (aged 81)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Haverstraw, Rockland County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 18267 · View Source
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Cartoonist. He is best remembered as the creator and long-time producer of the comic strips "Steve Canyon" and "Terry and the Pirates." He was one of the first cartoonists to bring realism, suspense and sensuality into the comic strips, combining all with a grace and sensitivity that brought renewed public interest to the medium. Born Milton Arthur Paul Caniff in Hillsboro, Ohio, he was an Eagle Scout and a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America. In 1930, he graduated from Ohio State University, and began a career in journalism by working for the Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch. Although he had drawn illustrations for his college fraternity's magazine, Sigma Chi, his interest in cartooning really took off when he was assigned to work for the Dispatch's noted cartoonist William Ireland. In 1932, Caniff was hired by Associated Press to produce the comic strip "Dickie Dare," an action serial that would become the prototype for Caniff's later work. Two years later, Caniff joined the New York Daily News to produce a new comic strip, "Terry and the Pirates," which Caniff drew until 1946 (the strip was later taken over by a different artist and continued until 1973, and later made a short lived appearance in the mid-1990s). Caniff started the strip with young Terry as a boy, and gradually aged him, having the character join the Army Air Force during World War II. During the war, Caniff also drew a strip "Male Call" for free use in the G.I. newspapers, retiring this strip also at the end of the war. As an artist, he helped support the war effort by drawing insignia for free for Army Air Force bombers, and designed the National Capitol Wing patch insignia for Civil Air Patrol. Since "Terry and the Pirates" was owned and controlled by the newspaper, Caniff wanted more control over his strip, and a month later, he moved to the Chicago Sun-Times, and began writing "Steve Canyon," retaining artistic control over the strip. Initially, the title character was an air transport pilot who flew to exotic destinations and having adventures. Although the strip was an immediate and continuing success, it never matched "Terry and the Pirates" when that strip was at its peak. "Steve Canyon" ran for 41 years, stopping only with the artist's death in 1988 in New York City. Caniff was one of the founders of the National Cartoonists Society, and in 1946, was the first person to be presented its Cartoonist of the Year Award. He was also awarded the Reuben Award in 1971 and the Elzie Segar Award in 1971. The National Cartoonists Society entered him into their Hall of Fame in 1981, and has since created the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in his honor.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 6 Nov 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18267
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Milton Caniff (28 Feb 1907–3 Apr 1988), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18267, citing Mount Repose Cemetery, Haverstraw, Rockland County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .