Known for her realistic, humorous books, Erma Harris Bombeck wrote about ordinary, everyday events and problems. As a dedicated mother, she used her experiences raising children as a rich and vital source of her material. Her sense of humor and her appreciation for life made her successful in print, radio, and TV. Bombeck was born in 1927. In 1949, she began her career as a reporter for the Journal Herald in Dayton, Ohio. From 1975 to 1986, Bombeck appeared as a biweekly commentator on the Good Morning America television show. Bombeck's book titles give an indication of her style of humor: A Marriage Made in Heaven, or Too Tired for an Affair; I Lost Everything in the Postnatal Depression; and If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? Her book, When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time To Go Home was a bestseller. Bombeck was repeatedly named one of the 25 Most Influential Women in America by the World Almanac. Her books were frequently on nonfiction bestseller lists. Bombeck died after surgery in April 1996. She and her husband Bill Bombeck had been married for 47 years and had three children.
Bil Keane, October 5, 1922 - November 8, 2011 Bil Keane was born on October 5, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Pennsylvania, and taught himself how to draw. Keane began cartooning in high school, and after graduation continued to create comics for Yank magazine while spending three years in the Army during World War II. After the war, Keane got a job at the Philadelphia Bulletin, first as a messenger and then as a staff artist. His first syndicated cartoon was "Channel Chuckles" released in 1954 and distributed for 23 years. He also drew freelance cartoons for various major magazines, a Sunday comic for the Bulletin called "Silly Philly" and edited a weekly supplement in the Sunday edition called "Fun Book." Keane spent fifteen years at the Bulletin before deciding to move to Arizona and work from home. In 1960, "The Family Circus" was born, labeled with the original title of "The Family Circle" till the magazine of the same name objected. "The Family Circus" was created in the image of Keane's own family, based on the likenesses of his children and wife. The strip has been in circulation for almost 43 years. It is the most widely syndicated comic in the world appearing in 1,500 newspapers. There are over 60 collections of these comics, comprised of over 14 million books in print. The strip has inspired three television specials and appears in educational and public service projects. In 1983, Bil Keane was named Cartoonist of the Year by the National Cartoonists Society and won the prestigious Reuben Award. Bil Keane died on November 8, 2011, at his home in Paradise Valley, Arizona (near Phoenix), at 89. The cause of death was given as congestive heart failure.