Will Eisner was born March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, NY. As a child he worked for printers and sold newspapers. He attended De Witt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where his artwork first appeared in the school newspaper. His first job was at the New York American, but he lost that and found a job with WOW What a Magazine! in 1936. He created two features for the magazine, Harry Karry and The Flame. After the magazine went under, for a short time, he freelanced and drew stories for Comic Magazines before he and friend Jerry Iger formed a the Eisner-Iger studio. The two went their separate ways when Eisner joined the Quality Comics Group to produce a syndicated 16-page newspaper supplement. It was there that Eisner created his most well known character, the Spirit. In 1942, Eisner was drafted into the army where he produced posters and strips for the troops. After the war, he continued the Spirit strip until 1952. It was during this time that he created the American Visuals Corporation, a commercial art company that created comics for educational and commercial purposes. Some of the company's clients included RCA Records, the Baltimore Colts, and New York Telephone. Eisner had given up on the Spirit strip, but still produced new material for it from time to time. He chose to focus his efforts on a more mature storyline and so produced A Contract With God, which was published in 1978. It was the beginnings of the graphic novel. Eisner also taught cartooning at the School of Visual Arts in New York, in addition to writing Comics and Sequential Art and Graphic Storytelling. The Eisner Awards, one of only two comics industry awards, are named for Eisner and were established in 1988. Eisner's work was showcased in the Whitney Museum's 1996 "NYNY: City of Ambition" show. Will Eisner passed away on Monday January 3, 2005 at the age of 87 after undergoing quadruple bypass heart surgery.