Biography: A native of New York City, Otto Soglow left school after ninth grade, hoping to become an actor and holding a succession of menial jobs. He was a talented sketcher and eventually enrolled at the Arts Students League after World War One. Hid teachers included John Sloan, George Luks, and Robert Henri. He became an illustrator for magazines, including the leftist The Masses, and its successors The Libertaor and The New Masses. By 1925, when he joined The New York World, he was a dedicated cartoonist. He also freelanced at Life, Judge, The New York, Collier's and other magazines.
When his cartoon starring "The Lilttle King" appeared in The New Yorker in 1930, it was popular enough that the magazine soon asked him to make it a regular feature. Although Soglow created other cartoons, The Little King became his hallmark work.The KIng (captionless and silent) was a comically atypical monarch - gleefully informal, pleasant, and democratic. His personality was at odds with his requisite robe and crown. Each strip involved a plot wherein his ceremonial duties and regalia contrasted with his mundane activities, for example: when a dolphin in the royal aquarium refuses to eat alone, the king dispenses with his robe, (though not his crown), and joins the animal in the water. In 1934,The Little King left The New Yorker and was nationally syndicated as a Sunday-only comic.
Soglow continued to create other cartoons and comic strips. The Little King was discontinued on July 20, 1975, following Soglows death earlier that year.
Soglow was a founder of the National Cartoonists Society in 1946, where he was named cartoonist of the year in 1966, and a recipient of the Society’s Elzie Segar Award “for unique and outstanding contributions to the profession of cartooning” in 1972.
Sources and further references:
R. C. Harvey, Otto Soglow and the Little King: The Silent Runs Deep: