Cartoonist. Born an only child in Westfield, New Jersey, he attended Westfield High School, where he was the art editor for the ‘Weather Vane’. He attended Colgate University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Grand Central School of Art in New York City briefly but refused to graduate from any of them. Making his first appearance in ‘The New Yorker’ magazine in February, 1932, by 1940 he was offered a full-time position at the magazine at an initial thirty-five dollars per cartoon. In 1937 the first so-called “Addams Family” cartoon appeared. His recurring and as yet nameless characters were appreciated by television producer David Levy and Addams was approached about using his characters in a television show. Addams agreed and finally named the characters. On September 18, 1964 the television show “The Addams Family” premiered, and he received $1000 a week for the use of his characters. The show would run for only two years but it spawned two cartoon series, and two successful motion pictures. Best selling collections of Addams’ drawings were published periodically and included ‘Drawn & Quartered’ in 1942; ‘Afternoon in the Attic’ in 1950; ‘Nightcrawler’ in 1957; ‘Dear Dead Days’ in 1959; ‘Black Maria’ in 1960; ‘The Groaning Board’ in 1964; ‘The Charles Addams Mother Goose’ in 1967; ‘Favorite Haunts in’ 1977; and ‘Creature Comforts’ in 1981. He continued drawing cartoons, over 1300 in all, until his death in 1988. A cartoon ran after his death depicting his Addams Family standing vigil before his grave while Addams crawled out the other side. A Charles Addams Art Scholarship was founded in 1991. The main branch of the New York Public Library has a Charles Addams Gallery on the third floor. His thirteenth collection of cartoons ‘The Addams Family Album’ was published posthumously in 1991.
- January, 07, 1912
- September, 09, 1988
- Charles Addams Estate Grounds