Francis X. Reardon
, the creator of the world's first pantomime comic strip
, was born in Richmond, Virginia
on January 5, 1905, the youngest of three children of William Reardon, a glassblower, and Rose Meyer Reardon. He attended Sacred Heart Cathedral grammar school
there. As early as age three, in 1908, he showed considerable drawing ability when he drew a presentable picture of a Richmond Blues (a military unit
) parade. Art work of his done in conjunction with school work
showed talent well beyond what would be expected from even a talented youth of age 11 or 12. Later he attended Bridgeton High School
for two years after his father became employed in that city as a grassblower. At age 16 he returned to Richmond and was hired as a sports cartoonist with the Richmond Times-Dispatch
but after a short period of time was let go for budget reducing purposes.
Francis then sought a position in the New York-New Jersey area. A letter written in his behalf at the time by a Times-Dispatch editor, dated September 27, 1921, to a New York paper, read: "This will introduce F. X. Reardon, cartoonist and maker of comic strips, who is looking for an opening in New York. He will make good if given a chance as he has a nice artistic touch and a real sense of humor
. I will appreciate it if you will give hime a start. I was forced to cut him off the payroll by stern necessity. He is full of ideas and not afraid of work."
Francis did find work as a cartoonist for the Bridgeton (NJ)......