The first American cartoonist to have a successful daily comic strip was born today in 1885. Now WE know em

BudFisher

Harry Conway “Bud” Fisher was born April 3, 1885 in Chicago.

Bud studied at the University of Chicago and then went to work as a journalist and sketch artist in the sports department of the San Francisco Chronicle.

In late 1907, Bud introduced a comic strip character named Mr. Augustus Mutt that became instantly popular with readers.

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In March 1908, Bud added a second character, the diminutive Jeff, the opposite of the tall and skinny Mutt.

Mutt and Jeff” became so popular that Bud copyrighted the characters and was offered to produce his comic strip for William Randolph Hearst and Hearst Corporation newspapers nationally.

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By 1911, Nestor Studios offered to make Mutt and Jeff short film comedies. Bud decided that he could make more money controlling film production himself; so in 1913

He created the Bud Fisher Film Corporation and signed a deal with American Pathe.

They made 36 Mutt and Jeff short comedies in 1913.

However, in 1915, Bud Fisher’s copyright was challenged by the Hearst Corporation. The courts upheld Bud’s copyright claim and he syndicated Mutt and Jeff nationally to other newspapers.

Between 1916 and 1926, the Bud Fisher Film Corporation created another 277 Mutt and Jeff productions.

Mutt and Jeff were also published in comic book form.

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On October 25, 1925, Bud married Aedita de Beaumont, former wife of Count Francois de Beaumont. The couple separated after only four weeks but never divorced.

1926-02-27 - Bud Fisher - Mutt and Jeff

Mutt and Jeff (2/27/1926)

The income from these multiple uses of his characters made Bud Fisher a wealthy man.

In 1932, Bud authorized Al Smith to produce the strip under his supervision.

Bud Fisher died September 7, 1954 at the age of 69 in New York City and was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.

Al Smith went on to draw Mutt and Jeff until 1980 when George Breisacher took over for its final two years.

Now WE know em

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