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1929-10 Five Novels
1930 The Dain Curse
1929-12 Dragnet
1930 Anna Karennina
1930-01 Dragnet
1931 Wings Of Love
1930-02 Dragnet
1933 Wonders of the World
1930-03 Dragnet
1933 Newspaper Syndicate
1930-12 Five Novels
1939-12-16 Liberty























Alfred George Skrenda was born on March 2, 1897 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father, Edward Skrenda, was born in 1866 in Austria-Hungary. His mother, Anna Buphila Skrenda, was born in 1867 in Austria-Hungary. His parents married in 1887 and then emigrated to America. They had five children, Caroline (b.1889), Edward (b.1890), Emma (b.1892), Alfred (b.1897), and Anna (b. 1901). The father was a decorative wood carver in the home-building industry.

In 1898 the family left Minneapolis and moved to New York City, where they lived at 441 Flushing Avenue in Long Island City, Queens.

On August 31, 1901 the father, Edward Skrenda, died of tuberculosis at the age of thirty five. After this tragic loss the eldest children supported the widowed mother-of-five.

In 1915 the Skrenda family was listed at 122 Main Street in Long Island City, Queens, NY.

In 1917 he was a sailor on the U.S.S. Harvard.

On April 23, 1917, during The Great War, Alfred Skrenda joined the Navy and served as a Seaman First Class on the U.S.S. Harvard. In 1918 he was transferred to the U.S.S. Texas. He was honorably discharged on November 11, 1918 at the rank of Painter Third Class.

The 1920 U.S. Census listed the family at 366 Fowler Street in Hempstead, Long Island, NY. While the three older children married and left home, the two youngest, Alfred (age twenty-two) and Anna (age eighteen), continued to live with their widowed-mother. Alfred's occupation was listed as "designer" and his sister was a bookkeeper.

In 1920 he was a cast member of the C. J. Campbell Dramatic Society of Bellmore, Long Island, NY.

In 1922 he was Dancing Director of "The Hippity Skip," a musical comedy production at the Brooklyn Labor Lyceum, located at the intersection of Myrtle and Willoughby Avenues. According to newspaper accounts, Skrenda was the featured dancer in the number, "Which Hazel?"

It is not known where he may have received art training other than his service as a ship's painter in the Navy druing the Great War, but by 1925 Alfred Skrenda was listed as an "Artist." His first credited work was pen-and-ink story illustrations for the pulp magazine Five-Novels Monthly, published in 1928 by William Mann Clayton.

By 1929 Skrenda was painting full-color covers for this same pulp magazine as well as for The Dragnet Magazine, which was produced by Clayton's associate editor, Harold Hersey.

In the 1930s Skrenda painted dozens of stylish dustjacket bookcovers for hardcover novels produced by Grosset and Dunlap, including an early edition of "The Dain Curse" by Dashiell Hammett.

In 1932 Grosset and Dunlap published "Minute Stories Of The Bible" by Alfred Skrenda and Isabel Juergens. The title indicated the time it took to read about each Biblical story. After the successful sales of this book, Grosset and Dunlap published "Minute Wonders Of The World" by Alfred Skrenda and Isabel Juergens. This children's book described and illustrated 144 wonders of the world.

The 1933 NYC telephone directory listed Alfred Skrenda as a "commercial artist" with an art studio at 45 West 14th Street, and his home address at 27-10 Newtown Avenue in Long Island City, Queens, NY.

In 1939 Alfred Skrenda sold a free-lance cover illustration to Liberty Magazine.

In 1940 Alfred Skrenda was age forty-three. He never married and he had no children. He lived at 42 Hamilton Avenue in Hempstead, Long Island, NY, with his older sister, Emma Skrenda Brockman, and her daughter Marjorie Brockman.

On August 20, 1942, during World War II, Alfred Skrenda enlisted again for military service, but instead of the Navy he joined the Army.

On November 28, 1944 the artist's mother, Anna Skrenda died at the age of seventy-seven in Islip, Long Island, NY.

On June 14, 1946 Alfred Skrenda was honorably discharged from the Army at the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Alfred George Skrenda died at the age of eighty-one on March 16, 1978 in the Veterans Administration Hospital of Houston, Texas.

                         © David Saunders 2021

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