American cartoonist, born in 1901 near Merrill, Oregon. After spending his childhood working on a farm and drawing, he got a job drawing animated cartoons for Disney. After submitting a gag about a mechanized barber chair for a Donald Duck cartoon, Barks was promoted to the story department, where he co-worked on a number of famous Donald Duck cartoons, but in the early 1940s, a series of irritations at the studio convinced him to quit to set up a chicken farm.

To earn a living in the meantime, Barks went to work for Western Publishing drawing Donald Duck comic books. Donald didn't exactly work in comic books--in the movies, he was a lazy hothead who spoke in barely-coherent quacking. To make Donald more suitable for the comics, Barks gave him a personality, less volatile emotions, and articulate speech. He also created characters like Scrooge McDuck, Gladstone Gander, Gyro Gearloose, the Beagle Boys, Magica de Spell, the Junior Woodchucks, and Flintheart Glomgold.

His original contract with Disney didn't allow him any credits on the comics he created, but he was widely acclaimed as one of the best comic book creators and storytellers around. After his retirement, and after the death of Walt Disney, he has received much more credit and recognition from the Walt Disney Company and from the world of comics in general.

Died in the summer of 2000 of leukemia.