Kelly, Walt

Alternative names
Birth 1913-08-25
Death 1973-10-18

Biographical notes:

b. Walter Crawford Kelly, 1913-1973. Comic strip artist, editorial cartoonist, animator. Kelly's only formal art training was in high school. His early employment included work as an animator with the Disney Studio (1935-1941) and freelance comic book work. He worked as art director and editorial cartoonist for the short-lived N.Y. Star (1948-1949). He is best known for the comic strip, Pogo, which first appeared in newspapers in The Star on October 4, 1948. The character of Pogo had appeared earlier in Animal Comics, a comic book series, in the December/January 1941/1942 issue. The comic strip, Pogo, was published until July 1975. Kelly received several awards, including the Heywood Broun Award for his editorial cartoons and the National Cartoonists Society Reuben award in 1951. In 1954 Kelly became the first comic strip artists to have his work represented in the Library of Congress.

  • 1913: Walter Crawford Kelly born August 25, 1913.
  • 1920 - 1929 : Walt attended Hall Elementary School.
  • 1930 - 1934 : Walt attended Warren Harding High School.
  • 1930 - 1935 : Worked at the Bridgeport Post as a reporter. Made a comic strip featuring P.T. Barnum.
  • 1930 - 1939 : Kelly held several short-term laboring positions.
  • 1935 - 1936 : Kelly began free-lance comic book work.
  • 1935 - 1941 : Kelly worked for Walt Disney Studios. Involved in making "Snow White," "Fantasia," "Dumbo," etc.
  • 1937: Walt Kelly and Helen Delacy married.
  • 1941: Kelly began his association with Western and Dell.
  • 1941 - 1942 : First appearance of the Pogo character in "Animal Comics." Strip featured Albert and Bumbazine.
  • 1942 - 1948 : Kelly work on the Dell comic book series, "Animal Comics."
  • 1942: Birth of Cathleen, daughter of Walt Kelly and Helen Delacy.
  • 1943 - 1944 : Kelly illustrated guides for various branches of the U.S. Army.
  • 1945: Birth of Carolyn, daughter of Walt Kelly and Helen Delacy.
  • 1947: Birth of Peter, son of Walt Kelly and Helen Delacy.
  • 1948 - 1949 : Kelly worked at the New York Star. "Pogo" made its first appearance in the Oct. 4th, 1948 issue.
  • 1949: Kelly received the Heywood Broun Award from the American Newspaper Guild for 1948 campaign coverage.
  • 1949: "Pogo" was syndicated by the Post-Hall Syndicate.
  • 1951: First book based on "Pogo" comic strips published by Simon and Schuster.
  • 1951: Kelly received the Reuben Award for "Pogo" from the National Cartoonists Society.
  • 1951: Walt Kelly and Stephanie Waggony married.
  • 1951: Birth of Steven, son of Walt Kelly and Stephanie Waggony.
  • 1952: Birth of Andrew, son of Walt Kelly and Stephanie Waggony.
  • 1952: Birth of Nancy, daughter of Walt Kelly and Stephanie Waggony, who died shortly after birth.
  • 1954 - 1955 : Kelly served as president of the National Cartoonists Society.
  • June 29, 1954: Kelly honored by Library of Congress. First comic artist to have work represented in the library.
  • 1956: Birth of Kathryn Barbara, daughter of Walt Kelly and Stephanie Waggony, who died shortly after birth
  • 1958: Birth of John Lardner, son of Walt Kelly and Stephanie Waggony.
  • May 18, 1969: Walt Kelly and Chuck Jones produced the T.V. presentation: "The Pogo Special Birthday Special."
  • 1971: Walt Kelly and Selby Daley married.
  • October 18, 1973: Walt Kelly died at the Motion Picture Country Home in Hollywood.
  • November 1973: After Kelly's death, "Pogo" continued by Selby Kelly, and later by Steven Kelly and Henry Shikuma.
  • July 20, 1975: Last date the "Pogo" strip was published.

From the guide to the Walt Kelly Collection, 1947-1975, (The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum)


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  • Comic books, strips, etc.--United States


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