Bob Kane - Batman Creator
Robert Kahn was born in New York City, New York to Eastern European Jewish parents on October 24, 1915. He had a sister named Doris Atlas. He changed his name legally at 18, in 1933. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School along with fellow cartoonist, Will Eisner. He married Elizabeth Sanders Kane and had a daughter, Deborah Majeski. His grandson is Matthew Alderman.
His first published comic strips were “Peter Pupp” and “Hiram Hick” in 1936. In 1938, he drew adventure strips, “Rusty and His Pals” and “Clip Carson” for National Comics. At 18 years old, Kane and Bill Finger created a super-competitor to rival Superman; A comic-book hero that National Comics also owned. Together, they developed Batman. The first Batman comic strip came out in May 1939 in Detective Comics. (Detective Comics would later inspire the company name for DC Comics. Detective Comics is a comic book series published by DC Comics since 1937. )
Kane’s inspiration for “the Bat-Man” came from Zorro, Leonardo Da Vinci’s diagram of the ornithopter and a 1930 film entitled The Bat Whispers. Kane created Batman to be a superhero vigilante while Finger created Bruce Wayne, a scientific detective. Kane also created comic characters Robin (Dick Grayson), the Joker, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Scarecrow, Two-Face and Vicki Vale amongst others. Additionally, he created television cartoon characters: Courageous Cat, Minute Mouse and Cool McCool.
In 1943, Kane left the Batman comic books to work on the Batman newspaper comic strip. By the 1960’s his comic-book work tapered and he focused on television. Adam West gave life to Kane’s Batman as Burt Ward did Robin, in the TV series Batman (1966-1968).
In 1989, he published an autobiography entitled, Batman and Me. In 1996, a second volume, Batman and Me, the Saga Continues was published. Throughout the years, he served a consultant on the Batman films.
Bob Kane died at 83 years old on November 3, 1998 in Los Angeles, California.
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