Bil Keane (1922-2011), the creator of The Family Circus comic strip, brought happiness to an audience of millions from the late twentieth century to today through daily and weekly syndication of his humorous single frame cartoon. It has appeared in approximately 1,400 newspapers. The US Army veteran published 14 millions copies of his books and wrote the screenplays for several television movies based on the Family Circus strip.
Bil Keane’s appreciation of young children was illustrated through his one-frame cartoons, captions, and lovable characters, which he based on experiences common to families everywhere, including his own.
A graduate of Catholic schools, a distinct element of his humor was the integration of religion as a normal and positive part of family life. An article about his outlook on faith is here: https://belief.net/com.
Read more about this major cartoonist here: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bil-Keane. Or in an Arizona-centered resource here: https://www.historicalleague.org/historymakers/bil-keane.
An opportunity for a sight-see that honors Keane can be seen in Paradise Valley, Arizona. You can read about it in USA Today.
Paradise Valley is a rural town approximately nine miles southwest of Phoenix and has a population of approximately 14,000 residents. Historically, it has been home to several major celebrities, including authors Erma Bombeck and Clive Cussler.
Humor writer Erma Bombeck, who sometimes worked with Bil Keane, lived with her family in a large elevated custom-built compound, in the style of a Mexican villa, overlooking Scottsdale. It is not open to the public.
Clive Cussler had a home in Paradise Valley until his death in 2020. It is not open to the public. Read more about Clive Cussler, whose automotive museum is part of our Colorado Author Adventures Trail, here: https://authoradventures.org/trails/by-state/colorado/clive-cussler.
Musicians Alice Cooper and Glen Campbell each once had homes in Paradise Valley as well.
This is the first stop on our Arizona Author Adventures Trail!