Monday, January 26, 2015

Comics: Ben Sangor

Updated August 13, 2023 with information about Sangor’s wife, Frances.

Benjamin William “Ben” Sangor was born in Kiev, Russia, on February 5, 1889. Sangor’s full name and birth information were on his World War I draft card. The U.S. Naturalization Record Index, at, said Sangor arrived in America on February 25, 1904. Sangor’s early life is detailed at Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists

Sangor has not yet been found in the 1910 census. His education was reported in Joe Mitchell Chapple’s “Heart Throbs” column which was printed in the Buffalo Evening News (New York), December 20, 1928.

…Benjamin Sangor was an emigrant boy who in 23 years after landing at Ellis Island has become one of the largest real estate operators in the country. He attended night school at Milwaukee, and after graduating at the North Division School, attended the University of Wisconsin, working nights as a waiter or anything he could do to support himself, and finally graduated from the Marquette Law school.
The Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, at, said Sangor married Sophia B. Kitz on August 20, 1912, in Chicago, Illinois. However, eight months later, the Milwaukee Journal (Wisconsin), April 19, 1913, printed this announcement:
Naturalization Clerk Going to Be Married to Chicago Girl, Sunday.
Naturalization Clerk Benjamin Sangor got things all mixed up Saturday, but his boss, Clerk of Courts Charles Maas, forgave him. There’s a reason. Ben is going to be married Sunday. The lucky girl is Miss Sophie B. Kitz, 1480 Farragut-av, Chicago. The ceremony will take place there.
The 1913 Milwaukee city directory listed Sangor as deputy clerk at the Court House and his residence at 871 40th.

On September 18, 1914, Sangor became a naturalized citizen. His address was 757 Frederick Avenue in Milwaukee.

Sangor became a lawyer and was named in the article, “Moha Challenges Validity of Law”, which was published by the Milwaukee Sentinel (Wisconsin), January 23, 1915.

Sangor signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917. The card said he was a lawyer and lived at 757 Frederick Avenue in Milwaukee. Sangor’s mother, wife and child were his dependents. The description of him was medium height and stout build with gray eyes and brown hair.

According to the Cook County, Illinois Death Index, Sangor’s wife, Sophie, passed away March 27, 1918, in Chicago. She was buried at Ridge Lawn Beth El Cemetery. Her death certificate said she was born in Baraga, Michigan, on November 16, 1893, but the 1900 census and her gravestone have the birth year 1892. The cause of death was not stated.

Sangor was in the lawyers listings of the 1918 Milwaukee city directory. His address was 114 Grand Avenue. Sangor’s involvement in the Kroeger Brothers Company case was chronicled in the following newspapers.

The Milwaukee Journal, November 5, 1918: “‘Rummy or Liar,’ Says Court
The Milwaukee Journal, November 9, 1918: “Ready to Talk Now, He Says
The Evening Sentinel, November 16, 1918: “Judge Geiger Tells Herzog He Falsifies
The Evening Sentinel, November 18, 1918: “Court Declares Kroeger Bros. Co. Bankrupt
The Milwaukee Journal, November 19, 1918: “Kroeger Witness May See His Son
The Milwaukee Journal, November 20, 1918: “Rubin Explains Kroeger Deal
The Milwaukee Sentinel, November 21, 1918: “Rubin Undergoes Long Examination
The Milwaukee Journal, November 30, 1918: “Evidence Untrue, Says Court
The Milwaukee Sentinel, January 22, 1919: “Contempt Charge Against Lawyers
The Milwaukee Journal, February 24, 1919: “Rubin Denies He Sought Secrecy

The 1919 Milwaukee city directory had this listing: “Sangor Benj 835 Caswell blk”.

The 1920 census recorded Sangor (line 22) as a resident of Chicago at 4518 Prairie Avenue. He was single and a general practice lawyer. His Wisconsin-born, seven-year-old daughter, “Jacqueline”, was enrolled at the Chicago St. Xavier Academy.

In Funnybooks (2014), Michael Barrier wrote:
By 1922, B.W. Sangor was listed in a legal directory as a Chicago attorney and was advertising real-estate auctions in the Chicago Tribune. Sangor moved to New York by the mid-1920s…
Wikipedia said 
On October 1, 1925, a Benjamin Sanger (with an “e”) married Etta Weidenfeld at the Hotel Martinique in Manhattan, New York City,[5] though it is unclear if this is the same Sangor and if so, whether he had been married previously ...
The marriage certificate of Sanger and Weidenfeld can be viewed here. The spelling of his surname is correct, so he is not Sangor. 

Sangor has not yet been found in the 1925 New York state census, which said his daughter, “Jacqulyn”, attended Highland Manor School in Tarrytown, Westchester County.

Sangor’s real estate business, B.W. Sangor & Co., used a New York City address, “1,459 Broadway (42d St.)”, in a New York Times classified advertisement dated May 14, 1925 (below).

Sangor also advertised in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1926) and Philadelphia Inquirer (1927).

 June 22, 1926

November 29, 1927

Sangor traveled to Europe in 1928. Aboard the S.S. Berengaria, he departed Southampton, England, on July 7, and arrived in New York, July 13. His address was 1457 Broadway, New York, New York.

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (New York), December 24, 1928, published a longer version of Chapple’s “Heart Throbs” column on Sangor.

In two sharply-contrasted environments, both of which he calls home, Benjamin W. Sanger, one of the largest realty operators in the country, eminent in community building, gave me his heart throb. In the brilliant and almost blinding glare of Broadway, shining in on his apartment at the Astor Hotel, New York, he began repeating the enchanting verses from Longfellow’s “Evangeline”…
…That was the story of a tragic Arcady, but it brought to mind another and a happier one—at Pinewald, New Jersey, “where the pine forests meet the sea,” and where a new day play city is in the making, as Mr. Sangor said: 
“This is my city home, but I want you to come with me to my real home in the pine woods on the Jersey Shore a few hours away, and you will understand why I am so intense in my love of Longfellow’s lines. When I first began to read English, Longfellow seemed to be the poet who took me by the hand and welcomed me to the rich storehouse of American literature.” 
Three hours after I found myself with him at his home, called “Cedar Crest,” among the whispering pines and sands of the Jersey shore. Pointing to the west, called attention to a beautiful sunset, he continued: 
“There is a picture that hangs on the wall of heaven painted by the great Creator that to me surpasses all the thrills that I can ever hope to have in any art gallery. The quiet of these woods and the close contact to nature will perhaps explain to you why my favorite poem is ‘Evangeline.’”
According to the 1930 census, Sangor (line 36) was married and involved in real estate. His wife was not listed. He resided on Pinewald in Bayville Village, Berkeley Township, Ocean County, New Jersey. Pinewald was Sangor’s failed real estate project.

At some point, Jacquelyn Sangor returned to Illinois where she was a student at the New Trier High School in Winnekta. She was a senior in 1931.

The Echoes, 1931 yearbook

On January 17, 1935, Sangor and Viola M. Hartman were married in Manhattan. This was their second marriage. 

Viola was born on July 20, 1890 in Chicago, Illinois, according to the Cook County, Illinois Birth Certificate Index at She married Arthur Hartman on March 5, 1911 in Chicago. By 1915 they lived in New York City where he passed away on November 11, 1927. Viola’s marriage to Sangor ended in divorce; the date and place is not known. She passed away in 1968. 

Viola Moyses Hartman, 1923

Sangor’s involvement in the comic book industry is told in Michael Vance’s Forbidden Adventures: The History of the American Comics Group (1996), Michael Barrier’s Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books (2014), and Alter Ego #61, August 2006. A list of people who worked in the Sangor Studio is here. Fred Iger (1924–2015) worked for Sangor and was a co-owner of the American Comics Group.

Sangor’s daughter, Jacquelyn, married publisher, Ned L. Pines, in 1938. The New York Times reported the birth of Jacquelyn’s two daughters, in 1939 and 1942, and referred to her as “the former Miss Jacquelyn Sanger [sic] of Chicago.”

In the 1940 census, Sangor (Line 17) resided in Manhattan, New York City at 205 West 54th Street. He was married and an executive in personal services. His wife was not named. At some point they divorced. 

After the census enumeration, Sangor traveled by ship to Mexico. He departed Vera Cruz, Mexico, on June 5, 1940, and arrived, six days later, in New York.

Sangor signed his World War II draft card in 1942. His address was 205 West 54th Street in Manhattan. He was employed at Cinema Comics, Inc., 45 West 45th Street, New York, New York. He named his daughter, “Jacqulyn Pines”, who resided at 965 5th Avenue, New York City, as his nearest relative. On the back of the card was his description: five feet six inches, 175 pounds with gray eyes and hair.

The Brooklyn Eagle, January 16, 1948, published a legal noticed which named Sangor in a complaint.

In 1951, Sangor and Frances Unger Stotter obtained, in Manhattan, marriage license number 34122, according to a record at The date of their marriage is not known. 

Frances Unger was born in New York City on February 5, 1895 to Sidney and Bertha. Frances was the third of five daughters. At some point her family moved to Indiana, first to South Bend then Dayton. The South Bend Tribune, June 18, 1917, announced the engagement of Frances to Leo Stotter. They made their home in Dayton and had two sons. Leo passed away in 1946. The 1950 census counted her in Dayton. 

1910 census with the Frances and Sophie on lines 86 and 87.

Frances’ younger sister, Sophie, was married to Paul Sampliner, who was a partner with Sangor and Ned Pines in Cinema Comics. On April  25, 1951, Sampliner, Sophie and Frances (lines 22–24) departed New York for France. 

Sometime in 1951 the Sampliners had introduced Frances to Sangor, who had formed, in 1943, American Comics Group, the publisher of Forbidden Worlds

Sangor passed on January 26, 1953, in Miami Beach, Florida. A death notice was published in The New York Times, January 29, 1953.

Sangor—Benjamin W., on Monday, Jan. 26, 1953, at Miami Beach, Fla., dear husband of Frances Unger Sangor, beloved father of Jacquelyn Pines, loving grandfather of Susan and Judy Pines. Service at Frank E. Campbell, Madison Ave. at 81st St., New York City, Thursday, 12 noon.
Under the year 1953, DC’s “Other” Comics said: “Ben Sangor dies. Frances Sangor, his widow, is listed as co-owner for the next year.” Forbidden Adventures: The History of the American Comics Group (1996) said 
In 1955, Frances Sangor, B. W.’s widow, sold ACG to Iger’s father-in-law, Harry Donenfeld, and Iger himself eventually became the sole owner of ACG. 
The Journal Herald (Dayton, Ohio), April 2, 1964, published her obituary. 
Rites Set Today For Mrs. Sangor
Mrs. Frances Sangor, 68, mother of local advertising executive Don Stotter and realtor Jack Stotter, died yesterday afternoon, Mrs. Sangor, who died in Good Samaritan hospital, resided at 519 Heather drive. Services will be 4:30 p.m. today at Bradford and Connelly funeral home, 1849 Salem avenue. Burial will be in Riverview cemetery. 

Related Posts

Further Reading
Alter Ego #61, August 2006
“Forbidden Adventures: The History of the American Comics Group”

Alter Ego #62, October 2006
“ACG Horror and Fantasy”
“If You Could Bring Richard Hughes Back, He’d Be My Favorite Editor”
“Forbidden Adventures: The Back Pages”

Alter Ego #112, August 2012
“Something…?” A Study of Comics Pioneer Richard E. Hughes
includes photograph of Ben Sangor

Alter Ego #117, June 2013
“Richard E. Hughes: Life After ACG…?”

Publisher Insignia and Indicia Data, American Comics Group

(Next post on Monday: Ned L. Pines)


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  3. Thank you for your astute observation and additional information and links.

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  6. Benjamin W. Sangor (45) married Viola M. Moyses Hartman (42) on Jan, 17th 1935 in Manhattan.
    Both were widowed.
    Benjamin Sangor parents are mentioned in the record
    Father: William
    Mother: Sarah Golden

    Your page says:
    "In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, there are two women who were born in Russia and lived in Milwaukee.
    Sarah Sangor, 60 and a widow, was in the household of Harry Podolsky, her 35-year-old, Russian-born son-in-law, who was married to Rosa, also 35.
    The couple had two children, one born in New York and the other in Wisconsin.
    Rosa emigrated in 1904 which was the same year as Sangor’s arrival.
    Maybe Rosa and Sangor were siblings and traveled together in 1904;"

    Podolsky children were called William and Goldie...
    The link to Sangor great-parents seems quite obvious.

    1905 Wisconsin State Census doesn't have Benjamin in the Podolsky household either.

  7. Marriage with Sophie Kitz was most likely on April 20, 1913.
    The following article give an additional hint.
    Milwaukee Journal, June 1, 1913: Foreigner Is Misinformed; Calls City Vault Keeper, Demands Drink Of Water.
    Quote: "Naturalization Clerk Ben Sangor, still being in a jovial mood as the result of his recent marriage..."

  8. Sarah Sangor passed away Jun. 5, 1918 and was buried at Anshai Lebowitz Cemetery in Milwaukee.
    Less than two and half months after Sophie's passing.

  9. Ben Sangor could have been introduced to Real Estate thru his marriage with Sophie Kitz.

    Jacob Kitz in Illinois, Cook County Deaths
    (15 Apr 1870 - 23 Aug 1911)
    Adress: 1480 Farragut Ave.
    Occupation: Real Estate Dealer

    April 6, 1913 The Inter Ocean from Chicago, Illinois · Page 14
    Annie Kitz, as executrix of the estate of Jacob Kitz, has sold to Sigmund N. Rosenthal the property at 1S33-35 Milwaukee avenue for $20,000.
    It ts located' 200 feet northwest of North avenue and comprises a lot 48x100 feet. Improved with a one-story brick building, occupied by the Wicker Park postoffice station.

    Note that this sale took place two weeks before her daughter's wedding.

    November 16, 1920— April 5, 1921
    Pietsch V. Sangor, 173 Wis. 301.
    Quote: Sophie K. Sangor, in her lifetime, undertook the erection of an apartment building on premises owned by her in the city of Milwaukee.
    Her husband, B. W. Sangor, was her general agent in all matters relating to the enterprise.

  10. There are more articles about the Kroeger bankrupty case.

    The Milwaukee Journal, November 4, 1918: Worry Weakens His Memory
    The Milwaukee Journal, November 7, 1918: "Distrust Cause Of Failure"
    The Milwaukee Journal, November 7, 1918: Gift Of Stock Bait, Says Attorney
    The Milwaukee Journal, November 10, 1918: Plenty Of Action In Kroeger Case
    The Evening Sentinel, November 20, 1918: Rubin Tells Of Interest In Kroegers
    The Evening Sentinel, November 21, 1918: Herzog Avers Witness Lied On The Stand
    The Milwaukee Sentinel, November 22, 1918: Rubin Tells Why He Hired Sangor
    The Evening Sentinel, November 22, 1918: Sheridan Neveer Said It -- Rubin
    The Evening Sentinel, November 22, 1918: Sheridan Neveer Said It -- Rubin - Continued From Page One
    The Milwaukee Sentinel, November 26, 1918: Kroeger Sale Told By Wood
    The Evening Sentinel , November 27, 1918: To Auction Off Kroeger Stock
    The Milwaukee Journal, November 28, 1918: Sought To Keep Sale Secret
    The Evening Sentinel, November 29, 1918: Clash In Court Quickly Nipped
    The Milwaukee Sentinel, November 29, 1918: Clash In Court Quickly Nipped - Continued From Page One
    The Evening Sentinel, November 30, 1918: Kroeger Trial Is Concluded
    The Evening Sentinel , December 16, 1918: Do They Belong With Creditors

  11. Rubin and Sangor have then been prosecuted for contempt

    The Milwaukee Journal, February 15, 1919: Contempt Case crowds Court
    The Evening Sentinel, February 17, 1919: Rubin Upheld By Sangor In Contempt Case
    The Milwaukee Journal, February 17, 1919: Sangor Calls Contempt Case Unwarranted
    The Milwaukee Sentinel, February 18, 1919: Rubin And Sangor Both Deny Charge
    The Milwaukee Sentinel, February 25, 1919: Sangor Backs Up Rubin Testimony
    The Milwaukee Sentinel, February 25, 1919: Turns Over $5.000 Fee To Help His Client
    The Evening Sentinel, February 25, 1919: Sangor Talks On Rubin Loan

  12. Two articles contain interesting biographical details.

    The Milwaukee Journal, November 5, 1918: 'Rummy or Liar,’ Says Court
    "Mr.Sangor, who has been practicing law but six years and is but 31..."

    Actually, Ben Sangor was not yet 30 at the time of the trial.
    If I read this line well, Sangor was graduated from Marquette Law School at most in 1913 at age 24.
    But he probably worked as a clerk before graduating or finding an actual lawyer position.

    The Milwaukee Sentinel, November 22, 1918: Rubin Tells Why He Hired Sangor
    Attorney Rubin: "Attorney Sangor was employed by me at the sollicitation of Samuel Herzog.
    Herzog liked him and was anxious that the young man should get a start."
    Mr. Rubin declared that he had refused to employ Sangor on previous request on the part of Sangor.
    but did so immediately when requested to do so by Herzog."
    Attorney Leecher: "And did you have much confidence in Mr. Sangor?"
    Rubin:"Yes...he was a bright young man and was in a penurious condition.
    He needed the money badly and besides had the making of a bright attorney."

  13. The Milwaukee Journal, November 5, 1918: 'Rummy or Liar,’ Says Court
    "Mr.Sangor, who has been practicing law but six years and is but 31..."
    Both statements are approximate.
    Those should be: "Mr.Sangor, who has been practicing law but five years and is but 30..."

    Bulletin of Marquette University 1908/09-1913/14 (INCOMPL.) provides the info.
    College of Law: COURSES OF STUDY-(Day).
    As Ben Sangor did attend University of Wisconsin before going to Marquette, he was able to take the three-year course.
    He's listed in Students' Rosters.
    1911-1912 Day Freshmen
    1912-1913 Day Juniors
    I assume he was Day Senior in 1913-1914 and was graduated in 1914.

    Ben Sangor was definitely a lawyer in January 1915 as he pleaded the Moha case.

  14. Your page says:
    The 1919 Milwaukee city directory had this listing: “Sangor Benj 835 Caswell blk”.

    OLDMILWAUKEE.NET gives details about Caswell Building
    Wisconsin Historical Society has a 1920 photograph of Caswell Block Commercial District

    "The American contractor" lists two news for "Owner B. W. Sangor, 531 Caswell bldg":
    v. 36 (Oct.-Dec. 1915): Flat Bldg. (2 flats)
    v. 37 (Jan.-Mar. 1916): Apt. Bldg. (6 apts.)

    "Martindale's American law directory" lists "Sangor, B. W., Caswell Bldg."
    Inside Milwaukee lawyers sections for 1917 1918 1919? 1920 1921 1922

    "Polk's Wisconsin state gazetteer and business1 v.39-40 1919-20" lists Sangor Benjamin W, lawyer 835 Caswell blk

    I assume that both offices were located in the 1913 9-story addition.

  15. In the 20's, Benjamin Sangor did have an office in Chicago too.

    "Chicago law directory...[v.] 44 1920/1921" lists (Address phone number):
    Sangor, Benj. W. 908-105 W. Monroe st. Majestic 9023

    "Martindale's American law directory" lists "SANGOR, BENJ. W........ Consumers Bldg."
    Inside Chicago lawyers section for 1922

    A postcard of Consumers Building - c1920.