American cartoonist (1912-1988). He was born in Westfield, New Jersey, and he had a fairly normal childhood, though he was considered by some to be a neighborhood troublemaker with an unusual sense of humor. He also, naturally enough, had a passion for art. His father encouraged his artistic efforts, and he ended up drawing cartoons for the Weathervane, the yearbook for Westfield High School. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and the Grand Central School of Art in New York City.
After leaving school, Addams worked in the layout department for "True Detective" magazine in 1933. He wasn't drawing cartoons -- his job was retouching photos of bloody corpses to remove the blood from the images. He was also making sketches and cartoons for The New Yorker, earning just $35 per cartoon. In 1937, the first of what would eventually be known as the Addams Family cartoons appeared in the magazine; it featured Morticia and Lurch, though none of the characters would receive names until the TV show in the 1960s.
During World War II, Addams served at the Signal Corps Photographic Center in New York, where he worked on animated training films for the Army.
After the war, Addams enjoyed tremendous popularity. He continued contributing freelance cartoons to The New Yorker, but also contributed cartoons to TV Guide, Collier's, books, calendars, and more. He created cover art of a haunted house for "Ghost Ballads," a 1957 folk song album by Dean Gitter. He helped create title sequences for the films "The Old Dark House" in 1963 and "Murder by Death" in 1976. He ended up drawing more than 1,300 cartoons over his entire life.
After providing an illustration for Mademoiselle magazine's publication of "Homecoming," a short story by Ray Bradbury, Addams and Bradbury became friends. At one point, they planned a collaborative book about the characters from the short story, but the project fell through. Addams was also friends with Alfred Hitchcock, who namechecked Addams in "North by Northwest."
Though Addams' cartoons were morbid, he himself was considered pretty dang normal and was sometimes described as a gentle and debonair gentleman with a love of socializing and dating. He briefly dated Jacqueline Kennedy and Greta Garbo, which must've lead to some really interesting conversations.
Addams was married three times -- in 1943 to Barbara Jean Day, who was said to resemble Morticia Addams. They divorced after Addams decided he didn't want to have children. He married his second wife, Barbara Barb, in 1954. She also resembled Morticia, and she was a lawyer -- she ended up getting herself controlling interests in the Addams Family TV and film rights, got Addams to give up other legal rights, and got him to take out a somewhat suspicious $100,000 insurance policy on himself. They divorced after just two years. He married Marilyn Matthews Miller in a pet cemetery. The marriage lasted until his death in 1988.