Monday, January 2, 2023

Comics: Anna Kaufman, Artist and Fawcett Letterer Who Wasn’t Married to Stanley Kauffmann

Anna Kaufman was born Anna Fleischer on March 29, 1919, in New York, New York, according to her Social Security application at Her parents were Morris Fleischer and Esther Katz, both Austrian emigrants. 

The 1920 United States Census recorded Kaufman and her parents in Manhattan at 325 East 56th Street. Her father was a tailor.

In the 1930 census, Kaufman, her parents and eight-year-old brother, Herman, were Manhattan residents at 322 East 56th Street. 

According to the 1940 census, the Bronx was home for the Fleischer family. Their address was 2011 Morris Avenue. Kaufman completed four years of high school and her occupation was artist. She earned $988 in 1939. Information about her art training has not been found.

Kaufman met her husband at the same building. On April 25, 1942, her father signed his World War II draft card. The address was 1665 Townsend Avenue in the Bronx. Also at the same address was Samuel Kaufman who signed his draft card on October 16, 1940.  

On August 3, 1943, she and Samuel Kaufman (not Stanley Kauffmann) obtained a Bronx marriage license, number 6521. After the marriage, his draft card address was updated to 220 East 204th Street. 

The 1950 census said the couple lived in the Bronx at 220 East 204th Street, apartment 2B. Kaufman did lettering for a comic book manufacturer and her husband worked as a clerk at the post office. 

Kaufman worked for Fawcett Comics. On July 11, 1952 she and her husband attended the ten-year anniversary party of Will Lieberson, a Fawcett executive. Kaufman has been erroneously identified as the wife of writer and critic Stanley Kauffmann who, in the early 1940s, was an editor and writer at Fawcett. Kauffmann married Laura Cohen on February 5, 1943. They remained together until her death on April 12, 2012. In Kauffmann’s 1980 memoir, Albums of Early Life, he wrote about his career at Fawcett which he called Tappan Publications. (The company’s main characters were Major Mighty and Nick Noonday.) Kauffmann said he resigned in 1944 from Tappan. (Also see David Hajdu’s The Ten-Cent Plague.) 

Alter Ego #107, February 2012, published a photograph of the Lieberson anniversary event and guests were identified by number: “18. Anne Kauffman (letterer, wife of Stan Kauffman); 19. Stan Kauffman (writer)”. 

Below is a side-by-side comparison of Kaufman’s husband, Samuel (left), with a 1958 photograph of Stanley Kauffmann (right) from the back cover of the Penguin Book, The Philanderer. Clearly, these are two different men. 

It’s not clear how long Kaufman worked for Fawcett and if she lettered for other companies. 

Kaufman’s husband passed away on August 11, 2000 in Sarasota, Florida. Kaufman passed away on March 28, 2005 in Sarasota according to the Herald-Tribune, April 8, 2005. 
Anna Kaufman, 85, Sarasota, died March 28, 2005. She was born March 29, 1919, in New York City and came to Sarasota in 1984 from Rockland County, N.Y. She was a member of the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. Survivors include a daughter, Mindy of Joshua Tree, Calif.; and a son, Ira of Santa Rosa, Calif. National Cremation Society, Sarasota chapter, is in charge.

Comics Letterer Posts

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