Al Capp

Born Sep 28, 1909

Alfred Gerald Caplin, better known as Al Capp, was an American cartoonist and humorist best known for the satirical comic strip Li'l Abner. He also wrote the comic strips Abbie an' Slats and Long Sam. He won the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award in 1947 for Cartoonist of the Year, and their 1979 Elzie Segar Award (posthumously) for his "unique and outstanding contribution to the profession of cartooning.… Read More

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1909 Birth Born on September 28, 1909.
1919 9 Years Old In August 1919, at the age of nine, Capp was run down by a trolley car and had to have his left leg amputated, well above the knee. … Read More


In early 1932, Capp hitchhiked to New York City. … Read More
1933 23 Years Old Leaving his new wife with her parents in Amesbury, Massachusetts, he subsequently returned to New York in 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression. "I was 23, I carried a mass of drawings, and I had nearly five dollars in my pocket. … Read More
1934 24 Years Old …  In later years, Capp always claimed to have effectively created the miniskirt, when he first put one on Daisy Mae in 1934. … Read More
1937 27 Years Old …  In addition to creating Li'l Abner, Capp also co-created two other newspaper strips: Abbie an' Slats with magazine illustrator Raeburn van Buren in 1937, and Long Sam with cartoonist Bob Lubbers in 1954, as well as the Sunday "topper" strips Washable Jones, Small Fry (a.k.a. … Read More


1942 32 Years Old Other highlights of that decade included the 1942 debut of Fearless Fosdick as Abner's "ideel" (hero); the 1946 Lena the Hyena Contest, in which a hideous Lower Slobbovian gal was ultimately revealed in the harrowing winning entry (as judged by Frank Sinatra, Boris Karloff and Salvador Dalí) drawn by noted cartoonist Basil Wolverton; and an ill-fated Sunday parody of Gone With the Wind that aroused anger and legal threats from author Margaret Mitchell, and led to a printed apology within the strip. … Read More
1946 36 Years Old …  In 1946 Capp created a special full-color comic book, Al Capp by Li'l Abner, to be distributed by the Red Cross to encourage the thousands of amputee veterans returning from the war. … Read More
1947 37 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1947, Capp earned a Newsweek cover story. … Read More
1949 39 Years Old 1 More Event
Capp briefly resigned his membership in 1949 to protest their refusal of admission to Hilda Terry, creator of the comic strip Teena. … Read More


…  For years, Fisher would bring the characters back to his strip, billing them as "The ORIGINAL Hillbilly Characters" and advising readers not to be "fooled by imitations." (In fact, Fisher's brutish hillbilly character—Big Leviticus, created by Capp in Fisher's absence—bore little resemblance to Li'l Abner.) According to a November 1950 Time article, "Capp parted from Fisher with a definite impression, (to put it mildly) that he had been underpaid and unappreciated. … Read More
1952 42 Years Old 1 More Event
Highlights of the 1950s included the much-heralded marriage of Abner and Daisy Mae in 1952, the birth of their son "Honest Abe" Yokum in 1953, and in 1954, the introduction of Abner's enormous, long lost kid brother Tiny Yokum, who filled Abner's place as a bachelor in the annual Sadie Hawkins Day race.
1954 44 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1954, when Capp was applying for a Boston television license, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received an anonymous packet of pornographic Li'l Abner drawings. … Read More
1955 45 Years Old On December 27, 1955, Fisher committed suicide in his studio. … Read More
1956 46 Years Old Capp detailed his approach to writing and drawing the stories in an instructional course book for the Famous Artists School, beginning in 1956.
1959 49 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1959, Capp recorded and released an album for Folkways Records (now owned by the Smithsonian) on which he identified and described "The Mechanics of the Comic Strip." … Read More


1961 51 Years Old He also appeared as himself on The Ed Sullivan Show, Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows, The Red Skelton Show, The Merv Griffin Show, The Mike Douglas Show, and guested on Ralph Edwards' This Is Your Life on February 12, 1961 with honoree Peter Palmer. … Read More
1965 55 Years Old …  Capp was the Playboy interview subject in December 1965, in a conversation conducted by Alvin Toffler.
1967 57 Years Old In August 1967 Capp was the narrator and host of an ABC network special called Do Blondes Have More Fun? … Read More
1968 58 Years Old In 1968, a theme park called Dogpatch USA opened at Marble Falls, Arkansas, based on Capp's work and with his support. … Read More


1970 - 1971 2 More Events
1972 62 Years Old …  In passing sentence in February 1972, the judge rejected the D.A.'s motion that Capp agree to undergo psychiatric treatment. … Read More
1977 67 Years Old On November 13, 1977, Capp retired with an apology to his fans for the recently declining quality of the strip, which he said had been the best he could manage due to declining health. "If you have any sense of humor about your strip—and I had a sense of humor about mine—you knew that for three or four years Abner was wrong. … Read More
1979 70 Years Old A lifelong chain smoker, Capp died in 1979 from emphysema at his home in South Hampton, New Hampshire. … Read More
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