comic panel by Harry Hirschfield

The son of Russian immigrants, Harry Hershfield started his career at the age of fourteen, doing comics for the sports page and feature stories for the Chicago Daily. His first strip was 'Homeless Hector', about a street dog, which frequently reappeared in his later work. Roaming around the country, he worked for the San Francisco Chronicle in 1907, the Chicago Examiner in 1909, and finally, for the New York Journal in 1910. Here, he began his first major strip, 'Desperate Desmond', about a silk-hatted villain. In 1914, he created his most famous and longest-running strip, 'Abie the Agent', which was published both as a daily strip and as a Sunday page until 1940.

Homeless Hector, by Hershfield (1931)

Between 1933 and 1935, due to a legal fight with William Randolph Hearst, Hershfield worked for the New York Herald-Tribune, where he drew a Sunday half-page called 'According to Hoyle'. His comic work was characterized by ethnic dialect stories, mostly about Irish, Jewish and German types, which he depicted with wit and good taste. Apart from being a comic artist, he proved himself a talented columnist, both as a humorist as well as a theater critic. He also wrote books, such as 'Laugh Louder, Live Longer' - a motto he lived by until his death in 1974 at the age of 89.

Desperate Desmond, Harry Hershfield

Series and books by Harry Hershfield you can order today:


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