Carl Anderson, the son of Norwegian immigrants, left school early to travel around middle America. A carpenter's apprentice, he invented a patented folding desk, which is still being made today. He became interested in cartooning in Philadelphia, then took a drawing course and got a job at the New York World at the end of the 1890s. For the Sunday page of this newspaper, he created the strip 'The Filipino and the Chick', which earned him the attention of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Soon after, Hearst hired Anderson to work for his newspaper, The Journal.
Carl Anderson came up with 'Raffles and Bunny', and in 1903 he created 'Herr Spiegelberger, the Amateur Cracksman'. The strips, however, weren't very successful, and Anderson turned to freelancing for several magazines until the Great Depression forced him to go back home to Madison, where he returned to his old trade as carpenter. Teaching a night class on cartooning, he decided to try it one more time and sent 'Henry', his new strip featuring a bald little boy, to The Saturday Evening Post. The strip was taken up immediately and it proved to be a great success. Anderson worked on 'Henry' until his death in 1948. The strip was continued by his assistants, Don Trachte and John Liney.
In 1935 'Henry' was adapted into an animated cartoon by the Fleischer Studios, appearing next to Betty Boop in 'Betty Boop and Henry, the Funniest Living American' (1935). Together with 'Betty Boop Meets The Little King' (1935) (in which Betty meets Otto Soglow's 'The Little King') these were unsuccesful attempts to create another animated spin-off around a popular newspaper comic, much like the Fleischers did before with the far more durable 'Popeye' cartoons based on E.C. Segar's strip of the same name.