Lee Falk

leefalkComic Strip creator Lee Falk was just 19 when he began the career that brought us two of the greatest fantasy comics of all time: Mandrake the Magician and The Phantom.

Falk was a college student when he conceived Mandrake, which followed the exploits of the title character through his adventures with magic– the first strip of its kind.

In 1936, two years after introducing Mandrake, Falk again created comic strip history with The Phantom, the first costumed superhero.  A worldwide audience sat up and took notice of The Phantom‘s brilliant imagery and hair-raising adventures.

Falk was born in St. Louis and attended school there.  He graduated from the University of Illinois and spent about four years writing copy and directing radio shows in his hometown.  After Pearl Harbor was attacked, Falk joined the Office of War Information and became chief of its radio foreign language division.  In 1944, Falk enlisted in the US Army to better serve his country.

For many years, Falk was the owner of summer theaters in Massachusetts and a winter theater in Nassau, the Bahamas.  He produced more than 300 plays, and directed approximately 100 productions.  He was the author of nearly a dozen plays and two musicals, including the musical adaptation of Mandrake the Magician.

Falk died in 1999, but, like The Phantom himself, his legacy lives on.