AL CAPP Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Name: Al Capp                                                                     
Born: 28 September 1909 New Haven, Connecticut                                     
Died: 5 November 1979 South Hampton, New Hampshire                                 
Al Capp (September 28, 1909 - November 5, 1979) was an American cartoonist best   
known for the satiric comic strip, Li'l Abner. He also wrote the comic strips     
Abbie and Slats and Long Sam. He won the 1947 National Cartoonist Society Reuben   
Award for the comic strip Li'l Abner, and their 1979 Elzie Segar Award             
Born Alfred Gerald Caplin of Jewish heritage, Capp was the eldest child of Otto   
and Tillie Caplin, and a native of New Haven, Connecticut. He lost his right leg   
in a trolley accident at the age of nine.                                         
Capp spent five years at Bridgeport High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut         
without receiving a diploma. The cartoonist liked to tell how he failed geometry   
for nine straight terms.                                                           
Ten years later, A. G. Caplin went to New York and found work drawing Mister       
Gilfeather, a one-panel, AP-owned property. He did this long enough to hate the   
feature and meet Milton Caniff before leaving town abruptly, moving to Boston     
and marrying Catherine Wingate Cameron (whom he had met earlier).                 
Leaving his new wife with her parents in Amesbury, Massachusetts, he               
subsequently returned to New York. There he met Ham Fisher, who hired him to       
help on Joe Palooka.                                                               
During one of Fisher's extended vacations, Capp's Joe Palooka story arc featured   
a stupid, strong hillbilly named Big Leviticus, a prototype for Li'l Abner. And,   
during this period, Capp was also working on samples for the strip that would     
become Li'l Abner.                                                                 
Leaving Joe Palooka, Capp sold Li'l Abner to the United Features Syndicate and     
the feature was launched on Monday August 13, 1934.                               
His younger brother Elliot Caplin also became a comic strip creator, best known   
for writing the soap opera strip The Heart of Juliet Jones.