Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gardner Fox (May 20, 1911 - December 24, 1986) was an American writer born in Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for writing comics and co-creating numerous comics characters, especially for DC Comics.
He received a law degree from St John's College and was admitted to the New York bar in 1935. He practiced for about 2 years but the great depression was hard on Fox and his legal practice so he took work writing comics for DC Comics editor Vincent Sullivan . His first story was for "Steve Mallone, District Attorney". He later contributed scripts for Zatara and Batman.
Gardner, along with writer Bill Finger was instrumental in the evolution of Batman. He introduced the now famous crimefighting tools such as the Batarang and the Batplane. He also co-created numerous characters including The Sandman with Craig Flessel , Starman with Jack Burnley , and Doctor Fate.
Though he contributed a number of scripts for other companies Fox remained a mainstay of DC and became the head writer for the DC-related company All-American. There, Fox created such iconic superhero characters as The Flash (with artist Harry Lampert) and Hawkman. With editor Sheldon Mayer Fox created the first superhero team, the Justice Society of America. These characters gained their own titles and became very successful making Fox one of the comic industry's stars.
During World War II, Fox took over a variety of characters and books of several of his colleagues that had been drafted. He worked for numerous companies including what would one day become Marvel Comics, and at EC he served a brief stint as head writer. With the waning popularity of superheroes Fox contributed western, science fiction, humour, romance, and funny animal stories.
In the late 1950s Fox was called upon by editor Julius Schwartz to revive The Flash. Fox reinvented the character adorning the title to a new character, a police scientist by the name of Barry Allen. The sales success of the Flash in the anthology title Showcase is considered by many to be the instigator of the Silver Age of comic books. Superheroes were once again in vogue and Fox was called upon to revive characters and concepts such as Hawkman and The Atom, and created the Justice League of America. He also wrote scripts for Batman reintroducing villains such as The Riddler and The Scarecrow, who would go on to become some of Batman's most famous foes.
Fox stopped receiving work in 1968 when DC comics refused to give health insurance and other benefits to their older creators. Fox, who had written a number of prose science fiction novels in the 1940s, returned to producing novels under his own name and several pseudonyms.
He wroter over 100 novels in genres such as sci-fi, sword and sorcery, spy, crime, fantasy, romance, western, and historical fiction. His pen names include Jefferson Cooper, Bart Sommers, Paul Dean, Ray Gardner, and Lynna Cooper. He is estimated to have written over 4000 comic stories.
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