Malcolm James Kildale was born on November 18, 1913 in Brooklyn. His father, Malcolm B. Kildale, was born in 1891 in NYC of Scottish ancestry. His mother, Helen W. Molloy, was born in 1893 in Rhode Island, of Irish ancestry. His parents met in Brooklyn, where they married on December 29, 1912. They had two children. He was the first born. His younger brother, Thomas Molloy Kildale, was born on February 2, 1922. The father worked as a shipping clerk and the mother worked as a sales clerk at the same Brooklyn department store. The family lived at 22 Hausman Street in Brooklyn.
In 1924 the family moved to 609 Kosciusko Street in Brooklyn, where the father worked as a chauffeur.
In 1927 he began to attend Commercial High School in Brooklyn, which was one of the best public schools in NYC. He studied drawing with Nathaniel Pasternak (1879-1949), a Brooklynite of Austrian ancestry, who was certified to teach Mechanical Drawing. Four years earlier Walter Baumhofer (1904-1987) had been a pupil of this same teacher. That artist later recounted, "Pasternak told me I could draw if I tried. He was right. His encouragement opened up a new world for me. I sometimes wonder what I'd be doing if I hadn't been given this early encouragement."
In 1928 the family moved to Queens, NY, where they lived at 381 Fresh Pond Road.
In 1931 he completed the Eleventh Grade at Commercial High School, after which he entered the workforce as a clerk.
In the evenings he studied art for two years at The School of Art, Commercial Illustration Studies Department, atop the Flatiron Building at 175 Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, where he studied with Samuel Kay Roller (1883-1979), an illustrator of children's books. One of the school's guest lecturers at that time was the artist Marshall Frantz.
On August 28, 1937 Malcolm Kildale married in Queens Civil Court. His wife was named Catherine. She was born in 1913 in NYC. She had completed the tenth grade in a Queens high school, after which she entered the workforce as as a clerk. They moved to 61-04 Linden Street in Ridgewood, Queens, NY.
In 1937 he illustrated Magic In The Bake Shop by Randolph C. Wilson, which was published by the WPA Art Program.
In 1939 he drew Speed Centaur for Centaur Comics, which was located at 11 West 42nd Street. Some of the other artists working for this same early golden age comic book publisher included William Merle Allison, James M. Wilcox, Harry L. Parkhurst, Jack W. Warren, Terry Gilkison, Howard L. Hastings, and Fred Guardineer.
In 1940 he was listed as a "Freelance Artist" who worked in "Comic Strips."
In 1941 he worked as an art director at Classics Comics. The roster of artists working for this eventually included Henry C. Kiefer, Lou Cameron, Roy Krenkel, and Norman Saunders.
By 1942 he and his wife had moved to 87-76 160th Street in Jamaica, Queens, NY, which is only a few blocks away from his parent's home. His son Thomas Molloy Kildale was born on April 27, 1942. He was named after the artist's younger brother.
During WWII Malcolm Kildale registered with the draft and began to serve in the Navy on April of 1943. He served as a Petty Officer in the Seabees, where he worked as a draughtsman engineer.
His younger brother joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the South Pacific. He fought on Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. Both brothers were honorably discharged in 1945.
After the war Malcolm Kildale resumed his art career in NYC. He drew interior story illustrations for pulp magazines produced by Trojan Publications, under the art director Adolphe Barreaux. His work appeared in Private Detective Stories, Leading Western and Fighting Western.
In 1949 he moved to Long Island and lived in Farmingdale, NY. On November 9, 1950 his daughter Margareth W. Kildale was born.
In 1952 he illustrated two humorous books, A Duck Hunter's Diary and A Fisherman's Diary, which were both written by William Heintz and published by the Sportsman's Press.
By 1954 the family had moved to 4817 Randolph Road in Silver Spring, Maryland. This was a suburb of Washington, D.C., where he had been hiref to work in public relations for a variety of lobbyists.
In 1961 he became Art Director of the newly revived national weekly newspaper, The World, which was published in Washington, D.C.
In 1966 the Long Island Lighting Company announced plans to construct nuclear power plants in two Long island towns, Shoreham and Lloyd Neck. In response to the well-documented danger of atomic energy the artist formed Fact Finders, an anti-nuclear congressional lobby. On October 20, 1967 he staged a picket line of Long Island housewives with protest signs outside the White House to raise media awareness. Each woman carried a duck on a leash along with a protest sign, such as one saying "Long Island Ducks. Roasted YES! Radioactive NO!" The event was reported in the Long Island newspaper Newsday.
According to a biographical profile, the artist's hobby, "which no once can quite understand, is going treasure hunting in old bookstores. He hunts most diligently for old and rare books that have to do with early New York history of Peter Stuyvesant and the Colonial days. He knows it as New Amsterdam, when it was only a little village of about 3,000 people. He also picks up everything he can find on pirates, authentic ones, that roamed the seas in the 15th and 16th centuries."
Malcolm Kildale died on Long Island in Farmingdale, NY, at the age of fifty-seven on December 14, 1970.
© David Saunders 2013