Charles Samuel Addams, or "Chill" as his friends called him, was born in Westfield, New Jersey. Records show at the time of his birth the Addams' lived on Summit Avenue. They moved several times before taking up permanent residence in 1920 on Elm Street. He attended public school in Westfield and was fond of visiting the Presbyterian Cemetery on Mountain Ave. When he was a youngster, he was caught by the police breaking into a house on Dudley Avenue. On the second floor of the garage behind the main house there was a chalk drawing of a skeleton which is believed to have been drawn by Charles Addams. That house on Dudley, and one on Elm Street, are said to be the inspiration for the famous 'Addams Family House'.
Addams graduated in 1929 from Westfield High School. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, then studied at Grand Central School of Art in New York City. He always wanted to work for The New Yorker Magazine and started submitting cartoons as early as 1935. His first submission was entitled 'I Forgot My Skates.' In 1940 he submitted 'Downhill Skier', which got him an offer to come on board full-time at New York's premiere magazine. His 'Addams Family' cartoons were the basis for a hit TV series and two successful feature films. He continued drawing cartoons, over 1300 in all, until his death in 1988. He also made a syndicated comic strip called 'Out of this world' in 1956.