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Sgt. George Baker,

Cartoonist

 

army flag

United States Army

Rare Photo of George Baker, 1946
   

"Sad Sack" by George Baker- a popular Army cartoon WWII

Much credit goes to Wikipedia for lots of the text, and to Google for lots of the images!
     

George Baker was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Baker grew up in Rock Island, Illinois and Chicago. In Chicago, he attended Lane Technical High School, and graduated from Roosevelt High School, where he played baseball and drew pictures for the high school annual.


After High School he had only six weeks of art training in a night school, and then he got a job "but soon grew tired of drawing pots and pans for newspaper advertisements.

     
     
 
     

Baker was hired by Walt Disney in 1937. He assisted in the production of the studio's full-length animated features, including Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. His specialty was animation of thunderstorms, waterfalls and other effects.

He was drafted into the US army in June of 1941, a few months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
 
He trained at Fort Monmouth, where he used his artistic abilities to create animations for the Signal Corps training films.
Like Sad Sack, George Baker was drafted into the U.S. Army where he became Technican 4, wore sergeant chevrons with the letter "T" below. He was paid the same as an NCO without the same authority over troops.
   
Baker won a cartoon contest and and received a portable typewriter as first prize.
 

He went to work for the army newspaper called "Stars & Stripes" where he met and became friends with Bill Mauldin, a fellow cartoonist.

Baker was hired by Yank, the Army Weekly, where he adapted his drawings of the misadventures of an army recruit into The Sad Sack.

Life magazine printed some of his submissions

The Sad Sack strip became the magazine's most popular feature.

 
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Servicemen could relate to the luckless private and the comic strip became a beloved hit long sydicated in newspapers across the country well past the war.

The strip became the magazine's most populal feature, as measured by the fan mail from servicemen who identified with the luckless private.

         
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In an official document, General George C. Marshall praised Sad Sack as a morale-booster for World War II troops.

     

After the Army

Discharged from military service, Baker returned to live in Los Angeles where he transformed the Sad Sack army cartoon into a syndicated comic strip and a comic book series aimed at younger readers.

While Baker gave the job of writing the comic narrative to others, he continued to illustrate the Sad Sack comic book covers until the time of his death.

 

 

The Sad Sack radio program was broadcast in 1946.

     
Click for Sad Sack Saga

Sad Sack (played by Mel Blanc) made an appearance with Bob Hope and Betty Grable on the April 29, 1944 episode of G.I. Journal. Sponsored by Old Gold Cigarettes, The Sad Sack radio program aired in 1946 as a summer replacement series for The Frank Sinatra Show. It starred Herb Vigran in the title role with Jim Backus, Sandra Gould, Ken Christy and Patsy Moran. Dick Joy was the announcer for the series which began June 12, 1946 with the episode "Sack Returns Home from the Army" and continued until September 4 of that year.

Tonight's Episode: Sad Sack Returns Home From The Army
Original Air Date: June 12, 1946

     
     

"The Death of Sad Sack"

This "issue" of Sad Sack was read by Nelson when Bart and Milhouse ran the comic book store.

Sad Sack was a true celebrity and was featured on the Simpsons. There was also a Sad Sack Doll.
     
   

 

 

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  In Memory of George Baker
     
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Riverside National Cemetery 22495 Van Buren Blvd. Riverside, CA 92518

Notable person buried at this cemetery:

     
army flag George Baker. Tech Sgt., U.S. Army, World War II. Cartoonist. Baker was a former Disney cartoonist who created the comic strip and comic book character "The Sad Sack,” during World War II. Section 8 Site 3254
     

George Baker will always be remembered with affection

and with Sad Sack.

     
     

"Greetings & Salutations, Your Friends & Neighbors Have Asked You (Sad Sack) Serve in the Armed Forces of Your Nation!" Upon answering the door and accepting a registered letter from the Selective Service System delivered by the postal carrier, civilian Sad Sack reports to the induction center of the S.S.S. where he is given a complete physical examination by military doctors and believe it or not? Sad Sack is drafted into the Army of the United States after being classified as "1-A" and dragged by uniformed Military Police, the long-arm of the law in the U.S. Army and later in the series of cartoons he'll run afoul of the M.P.s!"

Thanks to Herbert Hillary ("SARGE") Booker 2nd of Tujunga, California for this section from his book review

     
     
Much credit goes to Wikipedia for lots of the text, and to Google for lots of the images!
     
You may also want to visit:
 
 

The Sad Sack and Gabby

The Comics Journal

 

 

 

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