His comic strip lingo had a direct effect on American slang, much like that of his major comic influence Tad Dorgan’s. “I imagine it goes back to my childhood days in a Bronx flat where I must have heard a great deal of it and unconsciously absorbed it.”
“At any rate, it’s a literal transcription of the Anglicized Russian Jew; at least I try to make it so. It’s the language of the people -- conveyed at times in somewhat ludicrous character.”
He served in the infantry during WWI, and during World War II campaigned for more powerful “smash” in American propaganda materials. He was returning from a two week Hawaiian vacation when he died at sea of a coronary occlusion on November 29, 1953.
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*Original sketch courtesy Don Kurtz.