Samuel M. Iger was born August 22, 1903 in Manhattan, NYC. His father, Jacob Iger, was born in 1877 in Czernelov, in the Polish region of Austria, of Jewish ancestry. His mother, Rosa Iger, was born in the same town, in the same year, and of the same ancestry. His parents married in 1898 and had two children, Augusta (b. 1899) and Joseph (b. 1900).
In 1901 the Iger family came to America and settled in New York City, where they lived at 167 Suffolk Street. The father worked in the garment industry.
In 1903 Samuel was born and one year later his little sister Bella. They were the third and fourth children, and the first U.S. citizens in the family.
In 1910 the parents and two older children became naturalized U.S. citizens.
The father prospered as a tailor of womens clothing and in 1909 the entire Iger family traveled to Idabel, Oklahoma, where they lived at a lodging on Main Street, while the father started a new business in that area as a traveling peddler of womens clothing.
The business was not as profitable as expected so in 1912 the family returned to NYC, where they lived at 332 Sumner Avenue in Brooklyn. The father became a tailor at a Dress House, The older two siblings also worked at the same business as a salesman and a dressmaker.
Samuel M. Iger and his little sister Bella Iger attended public school in Brooklyn. Samuel M. Iger was unusually small, which earned him the nickname, Pee-Wee, although his friends called him Jerry. That name was derived from the sound of the last syllable of his family name, Iger.
On June of 1917 at the age of thirteen he completed the eighth grade and then entered the work force. At that time this was the customary age for most American children to begin working.
In 1918 during the Great War he was age fourteen, which was too young to register with the draft board or serve in the military.
By 1919 at the age of fifteen he was a professional newspaper cartoonist at The New York American.
On October 14, 1928 Samuel M. Iger married Louise Hirsch in Brooklyn. She was born in 1901 in Roumania. The newlyweds lived with her parents in Brooklyn at 2244 East 14th Street. Her father, Harry Hirsch, was born in 1878 in Roumania of Jewish ancestry. Her mother, Toby Hirsch, was born in 1880 in Roumania of the same ancestry. She and her parents had come to America in 1905 and settled in Brooklyn. Her father was an Assistant Manager of a Mail Order Business.
In 1928 his wrote and drew a newspaper comic strip, Mickey And His Gang, which was syndicated by the American News Features Syndicate. On November 17, 1928 a feature article appeared in the syndicated newspapers to announce the new comic strip.
In July 1936 he published WOW What a Magazine, which included fiction, articles about Hollywood celebrities, gags and comic features. The magazine lasted for only four issues.
In 1937 Samuel M. Iger went into a business partnership with Will Eisner (1917-2005) to form the Eisner & Iger Studio, which was located at 205 East 42nd Street. They provided content for client publishers, such as the comic book division of Fiction House.
By 1940 the partnership ended and Samuel M. Iger formed his own independent comic shop, Iger Studio, which was located at 1619 Broadway, between 49th Street and 50th Street. Iger Studio supplied material for such publishers as Quality Comics, Holyoke, and Gilberton's Classics Illustrated.
In 1940 Samuel M. Iger was listed in U.S. Census Records as living separately from his wife. He lived at a boarding house at 310 East 44th Street in midtown Manhattan near First Avenue.
In 1940 Ruth Roche (1917-1983) became his partner, Business Manager and Executive Editor. Their first project was a series of childrens book, Action Play Books, one of which featured Iger's comic strip character, Pee-Wee. According to The East Hampton Star, the company was reorganized as the Roche & Iger Studio.
During WWII he was age thirty-nine and five-foot-two, which was under the minimum height requirement, so he did not serve in the military.
In 1948 Samuel M. Iger was listed in the NYC Business Directory as a Cartoonist at 250 West Broadway, which was an industrial building with several printing companies two blocks south from Canal Street at the intersection of Walker and Beach Streets.
On May 1, 1954 The New York Times reported "S. M. Iger - Artist" had rented space at 113 West 57th Street, which is near 9th Avenue.
Samuel M. Iger died at the age of eighty-seven in Long Island City, NY, on September 5, 1990.
© David Saunders 2014