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)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Comics: Ruth Atkinson, Rae Hermann and Ruth Roche


Social Security and California Death Indexes at

Ruth M[ildred Atkinson] Ford was born on June 2, 1918.

New York, Naturalization Records at
Ruth’s mother, Yilda Estelle Atkinson (formerly Yetta Gottesfeld) submitted a Petition for Naturalization in June 1942. The petition said the Atkinson family emigrated from Canada to the United States, by train through Niagara Falls, New York, in July 1920.

1924 Elmira, New York, City Directory

Address: 751 Spaulding

1925 New York State Census
Address: 209 Mechanic Street, Elmira, New York
Name / Age
Fredrick Atkinson, 45, father born in England and employed in brass department
Yilda Atkinson, 31, mother born in Austria and worked in real estate
Warren F Atkinson, 11, brother born in Canada
Agnes B Atkinson, 10, sister born in Canada
Theodore F Atkinson, 8, brother born in Canada
Ruth M Atkinson, 7, born in Canada
Marshall Atkinson, 5, brother born in Canada
Rita Atkinson, 2, sister born in New York
Emma L Atkinson, 1, sister born in New York

1926 Elmira, New York, City Directory
Address: 246 E Miller

1927 Elmira, New York, City Directory
Address: 217 Franklin

1930 United States Census
Address: 331 East Third Street, Corning, New York
Immigration Year: 1920
Household Members:
Name / Age
Frederick Atkinson, 49, glass works inspector
Yilda E Atkinson, 37, unemployed
Warren T Atkinson, 16, hotel employee
Agnes B Atkinson, 15
Theodore F Atkinson, 13
Ruth M Atkinson, 11, student
Marshal Atkinson, 10
Rita C Atkinson, 7
Emma L Atkinson, 5
Bertha M Atkinson, 1

The Stator

Corning Free Academy
Corning, New York
page 29: 1930 yearbook, junior high school girls class photograph

The Stator
Corning Free Academy
Corning, New York
page 29: 1934 yearbook, sophomore class photograph

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
January 29, 1937
page 8, column 7: lists of high school graduates
Girls’ Commercial [High School]
Ruth M. Atkinson (Art)

1940 United States Census
Address: 85-02 20th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York
Name / Age
Yilda Atkinson, 47, divorced and store keeper at corset shop
Thomas Atkinson, 28, restaurant dish washer
Ruth Atkinson, 21, music publisher canvasser; in 1939 she worked 20 weeks and earned 160 dollars; her comic book career began in the 1940s; it’s not known when she became a U.S. citizen
Marshall Atkinson, 20, plumber’s helper
Rita Atkinson, 16, artist, hand-painted jewelry
Emilton Atkinson, 15
Bertha M Atkinson, 11

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999
Career overview

Grand Comics Database

Comic Book Database

Catalog of Copyright Entries
page 1400, column 2: Colona, Maxine.
Jireh College; stirred embers of the past. In collaboration with Ruth Ford Atkinson. 134 p. © Maxine Colonna & Ruth Ford Atkinson; 29Aug63; A6 48023.

A Century of Women Cartoonists
Trina Robbins
Kitchen Sink Press, 1993
pages 83 (comic book art, above), 101 (comic book art), 102 (comic book art), 104, 109, 111 (comic book art), 121

Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013
Trina Robbins
Fantagraphics, 2013
pages 80, 82 (comic book art), 83, 90 (photograph), 99 (comic book art, above), 100, 108, 115

California Death Index at
Ruth M. Ford died on June 1, 1997.

Comics Buyer’s Guide

July 4, 1997
pages 6 and 8: “Ruth Atkinson Ford Dies June 1”
Trina Robbins

July 1997
page 10: “Cancer Takes Ruth Atkinson Ford”
Trina Robbins

The Comics Journal
#198, August 1997
page 31: “Atkinson Ford Dead at 79”
Comics artist Ruth Atkinson Ford, died May 31, 1997.


Updated profile is here

Social Security Death Index
Ruth Herman was born on June 9, 1920, in Brooklyn, New York.

1925 New York State Census
ddress: 1474 Park Place, Brooklyn, New York
Name / Age
Aaron Herman, 50, father born in Russia and works as a tailor
Fannie Herman, 38, mother born in Russia
Abe Herman, 18, brother born New York and works as a bookkeeper
Beckie Herman, 17, sister born New York and works as a bookkeeper
Bennie Herman, 15, brother born New York
Sam Herman, 10, brother born New York
Ruth Herman, 5, born New York
George Herman, 5, brother born New York

1930 United States Census
Address: 1474 Park Place, Brooklyn, New York
Name / Age
Harry Herman, 55, father born in Poland and works as a tailor
Fannie Herman, 41, mother born in Poland
Abe Herman, 22, clerk in law office
Benjamin Herman, 20, clerk in office
Bettie Herman, 20, stenographer
Samuel Herman, 15
Ruth Herman, 9
George Herman, 9

Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists
Ruth Rae Herman aka “Rae Hermann” and “Ray R. Hermann”
Profile by Dave Saunders

Love on the Racks: A History of American Romance Comics
Michelle Nolan
McFarland, 2008
page 81: ...Our Publishing Company, often known as Orbit, was headed by a woman, Ray R. Hermann (sometimes known as Rae)....

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999
Career overview

Grand Comics Database

Social Security Death Index
Ruth Herman died December 26, 1996, in Brooklyn, New York.


Updated profile is here

Social Security Death Index

Ruth Ann Roche was born on February 18, 1917, in Massachusetts.

1920 United States Federal Census
Address: 194 Brown Avenue, Holyoke, Massachusetts
Name / Age
John Roche, 31, father was a gas and electric repairman
Anna Roche, 26, mother born in Russia
Walter J Roche, 11, brother
George Roche, 8, brother
Ruth Roche, 3, born in Massachusetts
Hannah T Roche, 50, father’s aunt

1930 United States Census
Address: 28 Elmwood Avenue, Holyoke, Massachusetts
Name / Age
John Roche, 41, father was widower and gas meter inspector
Ruth A Roche, 13
Anna M Roche, 5, sister also worked in comics
Bridget T Roche, 62, father’s mother
Ethel M Roche, 27, father’s sister

1940 United States Census
Address: 31 Franklin Street, Holyoke, Massachusetts
Name / Age
John H Roche, 51, father was city meter inspector
Ruth Gahan, 23, completed 4 years of high school; first name and whereabouts of husband is not known; her career in comics began in the 1940s
John Gahan, 1, son
Eileen Bunyan, 28, lodger

Jerry Iger forms a publishing company called Action Play Books.

Bobby’s Diary
Ruth A. Roche
Illustrated by David B. Icove
Action Play Books, 1944

Indian Legends
Ruth A. Roche
Illustrated by David B. Icove
Action Play Books, 1944

Pee Wee and the Sneezing Elephant
Ruth A. Roche
Illustrated by David B. Icove
Action Play Books, 1944

Adventures of Peter Pupp
Ruth A. Roche
Illustrated by David B. Icove
Action Play Books, 1944

The A. B. C’s in Rhyme
Ruth A. Roche
Illustrated by David B. Icove
Action Play Books, 1945

Chimpsey  at Play
Ruth A. Roche
Illustrated by Dic Loscalzo
Domesday Press, 1945

Classic Comics
No. 26, December 1945
Ruth A. Roche
Illustrated by Robert Hayward Webb and Ann Brewster

Ruth A. Roche
Tiny Tales Publishers, 1946

Puss in Boots
Ruth A. Roche
Illustrated by Alex Blum
Tiny Tales Publishers, 1946

Florida, Divorce Index at
Ruth Roche and Frank Manning, 1949

A Century of Women Cartoonists
Trina Robbins
Kitchen Sink Press, 1993
page 83: …In the case of Fiction House, the stories were often written by a woman, too. From 1940, when she was only twenty years old, until 1961, Ruth Roche, sometimes using the male pseudonym “Rod Roche,” was first the company’s major writer, and later editor. Although women writers worked for both Fiction House and other comic book companies, Roche probably wrote more comics during the ’40s than any other woman who was not also drawing her own strip….

Comics Through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas
M. Keith Booker
ABC-CLIO, 2014
page 141: …while Ruth Roche, another studio writer, became Iger’s full partner in 1945…

Will Eisner: A Spirited Life
Bob Andelman
M Press, 2005
Arthur Iger is Jerry Iger’s nephew.
Page 353: ...Arthur recalled that Jerry’s longest-lasting personal relationship was the one he had with his assistant, an attractive redhead named Ruth Roche. She had a son from a marriage that ended before she met Jerry, according to Arthur. “She loved Jerry,” he said. “But he never married her.”

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s
Greg Sadowski, John Benson
Fantagraphics Books, 2010
Photograph of Jerry Iger and Ruth Roche

The Complete Voodoo, Volume 1
IDW Publishing, 2015
Photograph of Jerry Iger and Ruth Roche (same as above but larger and colored)

American Newspaper Comics
Allan Holtz
University of Michigan Press, 2012
page 152: Flamingo
(Ruth Roche was the writer of the comic strip, Flamingo, which was drawn by Matt Baker and John Thornton. The strip ran from February 11, 1952 to March 21, 1953.)

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999
Career overview

Comic Book Database

Grand Comics Database

Social Security Death Index
Ruth Ann Roche died May 1983, in Montauk, New York.

The East Hampton Star
(New York)
May 12, 1983
page 2, columns 2 and 3
“Ruth Schaefer”
Ruth R. Schaefer, 66, of South Delrey Road, Montauk, died on May 4 at Southampton Hospital after a brief illness.

Born in Massachusetts, Mrs. Schaefer lived in Flushing before she moved to Montauk 25 years ago.

While living in Flushing, Mrs. Schaefer worked as an executive editor with Rochris [sic] and Iger, a New York firm that produced creative writing and artwork. She was with the firm for 18 years. During her career as a writer and illustrator, she also worked as a business manager for Phoenix Features Syndicate, where she created the comic strip “Flamingo,” which appeared in the New York World-Telegram for many years.

She also worked as an editor of Classics Comic Books for five years; edited six romance-confession magazines under the pen names of Miss Martin, Miss Bennett, Miss Adams, Miss Thorpe, Agnes Wilson, and the Marriage Clinic; illustrated Mickey Spillane’s “Mike Hammer” series, which appeared in the New York Mirror and other newspapers around the world; wrote scripts for such properties as “Ellery Queen,” “Brenda Starr,” “Aggie Mack,” and “Sheena, Queen of the Jungle,” and edited the cartoons “Felix the Cat” and “Huckleberry Hound.”

Mrs. Schaefer, who was divorced, is survived by her companion of many years, Peter Panteles of Montauk. Her body was cremated. Memorial donations have been suggested to the Montauk ambulance squad.