After studying to become an engineer, Harry Haenigsen enrolled at the Art Students League in New York. Around 1918, he worked for the Bray animation studios. He joined the New York World in 1919, where he started out doing illustrations. In 1922, Haenigsen created his first comic strip for this newspaper, which was called 'Simeon Batts'. Along with his career as a cartoonist, Haenigsen was a successful illustrator, doing numerous drawings for magazines, books and advertising.
After a brief interlude working at the Fleisher animation studios, he created 'Our Bill' for the Herald-Tribune Syndicate on March 6, 1939. This daily strip ran until 1966. But Haenigsen's most memorable creation came a few years later when he originated 'Penny', which was co-plotted by Howard Boughner. In 1970, Harry Haenigsen discontinued 'Penny' and went into retirement. About ten years earlier, he had already given up most of the artistic duties to Bill Hoest, after a heavy accident. Harry Hargreaves died at his home in Lambertville, New Jersey.