George McManus was born of Irish parents in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1884. He dropped out of school at age fifteen and started working at the Saint Louis Republic. This newspaper published his first comic, 'Alma and Oliver'. In 1904, after winning some money, he moved to New York and was employed by the New York World. For this journal, he worked on several running stories, such as 'Snoozer', 'The Merry Marcelene', 'Panhandle Pete', 'Ready Money Ladies', 'Let George Do It', 'Cheerful Charlie' and 'Nibsby the Newsboy in Funny Fairyland' (which shows some similarities to 'Little Nemo in Slumberland' by Winsor McCay).
In 1904, McManus created 'The Newlyweds', about an elegant young couple and their baby, Snookums. This series, the first family strip in an American newspaper, became quite popular and caused rival newspaper The New York American to invite McManus to work for them, which he did from 1912 on.
He continued 'The Newlyweds', now renamed 'Their Only Child', and started up several other daily comics, like 'Rosie's Beau', 'Love Affairs of a Mutton Head', 'Spareribs and Gravy' and the famous 'Bringing Up Father'. This comic about an Irish immigrant worker, Jiggs, and his wife Maggie, was syndicated by King Features Syndicate from 1913. The strip inspired several movies - in four of them, McManus himself played the role of Jiggs. When McManus died in 1954, 'Bringing Up Father' was continued by Frank Fletcher and Vernon Greene.
George McManus has influenced a great number of artists, including Hergé and Joost Swarte. With his subtle but relentless humor, he described American society, ridiculing its insatiable desire for luxury and its egotism.