David Hixon Moneypenny was born on September 25, 1900 in Brooklyn, NY. His father, Wilson Moneypenny, was born 1868 in NYC of Irish ancestry. His mother, Nellie Louise Hixon, born 1870 in NYC. They married in 1896. Their first child Harold was born in 1897. Their second child Carolyn was born in 1899. He was the last born of his parents' three children. He was named after his maternal grandfather David Hixon, who was a bookkeeper in a prosperous wholesale millinery firm. The family lived at 805 Lafayette Avenue. His father worked as a clerk.
In 1904 his father was hired to work as a manager of a rug store in Ridgewood, New Jersey, where the family moved to 325 East Ridgewood Avenue.
In 1905 William Herbert Dunton (1878-1936) moved to Ridgewood, and lived five blocks away at 329 Richmond Avenue. Dunton was a celebrated magazine illustrator, who enjoyed roughing it on adventurous camping trips. He eventually left his wife and children in Ridgewood and moved to New Mexico, where he became a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists.
Moneypenny grew up in Ridgewood, NJ, and attended Kenilworth Grammar School, from which he graduated on June 19, 1915.
In 1918 during the Great War he did not serve in the military, because he was still a high school student.
In June of 1919 he graduated from Ridgewood High School.
On May 26, 1922 he joined the crew of the S.S. Southern Cross as a bell-boy on a two month passage to Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was listed on the ship's log as twenty-one years of age, five-foot-eleven, and 150 pounds.
On June 18, 1924 he traveled to Edmonton, Alberta, with the intention of starting a new life as an ex-patriot settler on a homestead farm in remote Canada. As the winter set in he changed his mind and returned to New York City.
In 1925 he began to study at the Art Students League. He continued to take classes at the school for five years.
In the spring of 1928 he visited Taos, New Mexico, and the impressive adobe art studio of his hometown neighbor, William Herbert Dunton. He met several members of the Taos Society of Artists, as well as the younger artists within their circle, such as Harold Dow Bugbee.
On September 8, 1928 he traveled with six former classmates from Ridgewood High School to Europe on the S.S. Cameronia.
His older sister Carolyn worked as a stenographer at the local newspaper, The Ridgewood News, where he also found work as a staff artist to draw line art for advertisements.
In the spring of 1930 he moved to Savannah, Georgia, to work as a commercial artist at an engraving company affiliated with The Savannah Morning News. He returned to NYC when he was hired by an advertising agency to produce pen and ink art for newspaper ads. He worked for the Associated Press, and he was a courtroom sketch artist for The New York Daily News.
On June 2, 1936 his work was included in an exhibition of artists that worked for New York City newspapers. The show was held at The Contemporary Arts Gallery at 41 West 54th Street. The exhibition included works by Rex Maxon, George Seldes, Garrett Price, Albert Hirschfield, and Milt Gross.
In 1937 he began to draw freelance pen and ink story illustrations for pulp magazines. His work appeared in Adventure Novels and Short Stories, Famous Western, Clues Double Action Westerm, Detective Stories, Thrilling Western, Western Romances, and Wings. He signed most of his work for the pulps with only his initials "D.H.M."
During WWII he was one of fifty artists that contributed artworks to a stamp set, ARTISTS FOR VICTORY, sales of which supported the war effort.
In 1942 he drew illustrations for PM (Picture Magazine), a leftist daily newspaper that began publication immediately after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. PM refused to publish advertisements. Instead it was funded by newsstand sales as well as the anonymous support of altruistic donors. One of the comic strips that appeared in PM was Vic Jordan, an adventure hero that battled European fascists. The strip was first drawn by Elmer Wexler, another pen and ink artist that worked for pulp magazines. When Wexler joined the Marine Corps in 1942 he was replaced by Paul Norris. Norris was soon drafted, so in July of 1943 David H. Moneypenny took over the strip and drew it until February of 1944. Unlike other WWII comic strips, Vic Jordan ended with dignity as soon as the war was over.
In 1944 he was hired to teach art at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, NM. He moved to New Mexico and lived in Magdalena, where he met and married his wife, Elizabeth M. Moneypenny. She was born April 20, 1902 in New Mexico.
In the 1960s he illustrated a series of geological booklets for the New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources.
In 1964 he and his wife moved to 2724 Veranda Road Northwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He had an art studio in his home, where he painted portraits, landscapes, and historic scenes of cowboys and Indians. He also taught watercolor classes to local students.
In 1970 he and his wife retired to Sun City, Arizona, where they lived at 12208 North Lindsay Drive.
David Hixon Moneypenny died at the age of seventy-one in Sun City, AZ, on August 1, 1972.
© David Saunders 2011