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Walter Berndt (1899-1979)


Walter Berndt (1899-1979)

The Brooklyn-born cartoonist,Walter Berndt, is best known for the well-loved comic strip ‘Smitty’, which first appeared in the Chicago Tribune in 1923 and was syndicated to numerous newspapers across America for over 50 years.

Walter Berndt was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 22 November 1899. His career as a cartoonist began at the age of 16 as an office boy in the art department of the
New York Journal. Here, he was influenced by the numerous cartoonists whom he met, including E C Stegar, Winsor McCay and George Herriman. In 1915, he began drawing sports cartoons for the Journal and by 1919 he had taken over the gag panel, ‘Then the Fun Begins’, from Milt Gross. He left the Journal in 1920, moving to the World Telegram for a year.

After leaving the Journal, Berndt also began working on his own strip, titled ‘That’s Different’.

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