Alex Raymond was born October 2, 1909 in New Rochelle,
New York. After studying at the Grand Central School of
Art, young Alex went to work for cartoonist Russ Westover
ghosting "Tillie the Toiler" in 1930 &
31 and then worked with Lyman Young on "Tim Tyler's
Luck" and brother Chic Young's "Blondie"
from 1931 until 1933. Late in 1933, Raymond was given the
assignment of creating a science fiction strip to compete
with Buck Rogers, and along with writer Don Moore
created "Flash Gordon" and "Jungle
Making their first appearance on January 7, 1934 Flash
Gordon was a smash hit. At the same time, raymond teamed
with mystery writer Dashiell Hammett to create "Secret
Though his early pages are very plain and cartoonish, it
would not be long before Alex developed a spectacular "dry-brush"
style that would make him one of the most influential artists
of his time. Clean fresh strokes flowing like water throughout
the panels with what comics legend Harvey
Kurtzman described as a sensual quality. His Sunday
episodes were so popular they appeared on the second page
of the comic section behind George McManus' Bringing
The strip gave rise to a radio show and three serials starring
olympic gold medalist swimmer Buster Crabbe.
In 1944 Raymond left the strip and joined the Marines,
fighting in the Pacific theatre on the battleship Gilbert
Islands, leaving the armed services as a Major in 1946.
After returning home, Raymond successfully syndicated his
fourth comic strip, "Rip Kirby". A scientific
detective, Rip was no less popular than Raymond's other
Raymond's art influenced hordes of talented comics artists.
Among them are Frank Frazetta,
Al Williamson, Phil Davis, Lou Fine and Wayne Boring, and
through their art he has influenced scores of others. A
giant in the field he served as president of the National
Cartoonist's Society for two years (1950, 51) and had his
work showcased in books, and magazines including a spread
in a 1940 issue of Life.
His life was unexpectedly cut short in a car accident on
September 6, 1956.