Carroll Burleigh "C. B." Colby was born September 7, 1904 in Claremont, New Hampshire. His father, Melvin Forrest Colby, was born in 1871 in NH. His mother, Stella Adella Whitcomb, was born in 1866 in Vermont. His parents married in 1900 and had children two children, Elinore (b.1902) and Carroll (b.1904). The family lived at 137 Pleasant Street in Claremont. The father was foreman at a machine shop.
C. B. Colby attended public school in Claremont, where in June of 1922 he graduated from Stevens High School.
In September of 1922 he began to attend the School of Practical Art in Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied to be a commercial illustrator and cartoonist.
In June of 1925 he completed that school's three-year course of study and received a certificate of completion.
That summer he traveled by steam ship to Puerto Rico to begin his career as a commercial artist.
When his savings were exhausted he joined the U. S. Customs Service as a Coast Guard seaman to combat rum-runners. According to the artist, "We were rather fruitlessly engaged in trying to keep Puerto Rico as dry as the Prohibition laws had hoped it would be. We accomplished rather vague success, but it did give me a chance to chase assorted smugglers for several months and picked up a few colorful anecdotes."
In 1927 he returned to North America, and took a job as a staff artist on a newspaper in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In 1928 he took another job at a newspaper in Boston, where he again worked as a staff artist.
On November 29, 1928 C. B. Colby married Lila Margaret Thoday. She was born on January 27, 1907 in Watertown, Massachusetts. The newlyweds moved to New York City. They eventually had two children, Susan (b.1935), and Fred (b.1942).
In 1929 C. B. Colby began to draw a pen and ink illustrations for interior stories of pulp magazines, such as Air Stories, Zeppelin Stories, Wings, and Flying Aces. He also painted several covers for Zeppelin Stories and Flying Aces.
In 1930 he learned to fly a glider, after which, according to the artist, "I became an overnight 'expert' on all aviation matters. I then began to write and illustrate articles on the subject for various aviation magazines."
In 1930 he began to write and illustrate an ongoing special feature, "Early Birds," for Airplane Stories.
In 1933 he began to write and illustrate an ongoing special feature, "Aero Alphabet," for The Lone Eagle Magazine.
In 1934 he began to write and illustrate an ongoing special feature, "Flying Facts," for Sky Fighters.
In 1935 he began to write and illustrate an ongoing special feature, "Famous Firsts," for Bill Barnes Air Trails.
In 1936 he began to write and illustrate an ongoing special feature, "Jiu Jitsu," for Dime Sports.
In 1937 he became the editor at Air Trails Magazine and Air Progress Magazine, which were published by Street & Smith. He remained editor for six years.
In 1943 he became the Aviation Editor at Popular Science Monthly. During WWII he became a war correspondent for Popular Science Magazine and was assigned to the Army Air Force.
After WWII he became a freelance correspondent. His stories were published in Liberty, Blue Book, and Argosy.
The February 1950 issue of Blue Book included a short feature on C. B. Colby, "Who's Who In This Issue."
In 1950 he began to write and illustrate books for juvenile readers. His titles include Wild Deer, Wildlife In Our National Parks, First book of Animal Signs, First Fish, Ships Of Commerce, Cliff Dwellings, The Strategic Air Command, Today's Camping, From Muskets to M-14s.
He also wrote and illustrated a daily newspaper feature called "Adventure Today," with stories about haunted houses, buried treasure, antique swords and flintlocks.
According to C. B. Colby, "To me, writing for youngsters is a wonderful racket!"
C. B. Colby died at the age of seventy-three in Briarcliff Manor, NY, on October 31, 1977.
© David Saunders 2016