Born March 14
, Hank Ketcham created Dennis the Menace
sometime in 1950
, naming the comic strip
after his then-five year old son Dennis
. The comic
itself enjoyed high popularity
, even springing into TV series
(which ran from 1959 - 1963) a cartoon
, a live-action feature film
, and a string of toys
The comic ran a weekly (sometimes daily) run in newspapers and was very widely syndicated, appearing in 1,000 newspapers, 48 countries and 19 different languages. Even though in 1994 he turned the majority of work over to long-time friends Ron Ferdinand and Marcus Hamilton, he still supervised the creative process involved in his comic.
Hank Ketcham died Friday, June 1, 2001 in his home (Carmel, CA) of a heart attack. He was 81 years old.
On his sixth birthday, Dennis the Menace would blow the candles on his cake out, becoming five again.