Benjamin Thackston Knight (“Tack”), early cartoonist (1895-1976)

An obituary and some pages from the 1923 book written by early cartoonist Benjamin Thackston Knight, known as “Tack” Knight (son of George E. Knight and Lura W. Thackston of Haywood Co., N.C., and San Francisco, California, grandson of Benjamin H. Thackston and Sarah Smithson, great-grandson of Benjamin Thackston and Betty Chambers, great-great-grandson of James Thackston and Mary Wimbish of Prince Edward Co., Virginia):

From the Oakland Tribune (CA), 10 Dec 1976:

B. J. Knight Services [sic: should be B.T.]

Memorial services were held yesterday for Benjamin Thackston (Tack) Knight author of the internationally syndicated cartoon strip ‘Little Folks’, who died Sunday in San Francisco. He was 81.

Mr. Knight began his career as a sports cartoonist for the Oakland Tribune in 1914 and his distinctive tack shaped ‘T’ signature became familiar on comic strips and animated cartoons.

Many years ago he published a guide to aspiring cartoonists called Tack’s Cartoon Tips. About a year ago to celebrate his 50th year in cartooning he wrote an updated version of the book.

Born in North Carolina, he was dubbed ‘Tack’ as a boy when other youngsters could not spell his middle name Thackston. The name stuck.

In 1974 the National Cartoonists Society awarded him its Silver T Square for his contribution to the art.

He is survived by his wife Lorraine of San Francisco and a sister Ruth Debreui [?] of Waynesville, N.C.




Tack’s self-bio from the National Cartoonists Society:


There is also a 1916 photograph of Tack Knight at work at Animated Film Corporation in San Francisco at this website, and a 1961 photograph of Tack (2nd from the left) with Rube Goldberg (3rd from the left) at this website.

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