William Aloysius Keane, better known as Bil Keane is a cartoonist, best known for creating the Family Circus. He was born in Philadelphia in 1922 and taught himself to draw in high school. His first published cartoon appeared in 1936. During World War II, he served in the army and drew for both Yank and Stars and Stripes.
In 1948, Keane married Thelma "Thel" Carne who he had met several years earlier while stationed in Australia. The couple settled in the suburbs of Philadelphia and had five children. Around this Bil created two comic strips, The Channel Chuckles, a nationally syndicated strip and Silly Philly, a local strip. The family moved to Arizona in 1959. The next year Keane created "The Family Circus". Many of storylines and characters in the strip are based on his own family. Keane is also former President and member of the National Cartoonist society. In 1988 with the help of his wife, he became one of first syndicated newspaper cartoonists in the United States to regain full rights of his strip from the syndicate.
His five children include, Glen Keane, who is best known for his work as an animator for Disney, on some of their classic movies like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, and Tarzan; and Jeff Keane who assisted his father on "Family Circus", took over full creatorship when Bil Keane died on November 8, 2011.