October 24, 1915
New York, New York, United States
November 3, 1998
Los Angeles, California, United States
Bob Kane, best known for creating Batman, was interested in comics from an early age; he was a high-school chum of Will Eisner, who would go on to create "The Spirit." Kane studied at the renowned art school Cooper Union in Manhattan, and after graduation joined the Max Fleischer Studio as an assistant animator. He began freelance work in comics two years later, in 1936, contributing work to Eisner's comic studio. The company eventually became DC Comics, and in 1939 Kane created the character Batman. Bruce Wayne made his debut in the May issue of Detective Comics, and was an immediate hit. The characters Robin and the Joker appeared soon after, and the comic book's popularity soared. In 1943, Kane left the Batman comic books to focus on penciling the daily Batman newspaper comic strip. The character earned a television series in 1966, which was another major success. Starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin, the irreverent, campy "Batman" series ran for over 100 episodes, and made the Caped Crusader even more popular. In his later years Kane worked in TV animation, creating the characters Courageous Cat and Cool McCool. Kane was set to make a cameo in Tim Burton's 1989 blockbuster "Batman," but had to drop out for health reasons. He was inducted into the comic book industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1994.