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1924-12 American Legion
1943-07 Variety Love
1929 Postcard
1940-04 Thrilling Ranch
1929-05 Great Am. Novel
1940-08 Thrilling Ranch
1932-08 Gay Parisienne
1941-12 Real Life
1934-10 Breezy
1949-06 Outlaws
1942-07 Secrets
1951-05 Border Patrol















W. B. Smith was born William Bryan Schmidt on June 22, 1897 in Union, New Jersey. His father, George Schmidt, was born in 1853 in Germany, and came to America in 1878. His mother, Lenora Schmidt, was born in 1864 in Germany and came to America in 1890. The parents married in 1891 and settled in New Jersey, where they had two children, Sadie Schmidt (b.1893), and William Schmidt (b.1897). The family lived at 213 Palisade Avenue in Union, NJ. The father worked as a truck dispatcher.

In 1900 the parents had a third child, Lulu Schmidt.

In 1905 a fourth child was born, George Schmidt, Jr. Unfortunately the birth was complicated, and the mother, Lenora Schmidt, age forty-one, died while recuperating. After this tragic loss the family moved to live near an uncle's family in Orangetown, New York, on Tappan Road, by the New Jersey border. The father worked as a laborer for the highway department.

In 1910 William Bryan Schmidt, age thirteen, completed the eighth grade, after which he left schooling and entered the work force. He worked as a mason at a small company owned by his uncle, William Schmidt.

In 1914, as the German army invaded Belgium and laid seige to Antwerp, most American newspapers loudly condemned the atrocity. As a result, many German-Americans experienced discrimation, and sought to minimize their German ancestry. During that political climate George Schmidt changed his family name to "Smith."

In 1918, during the Great War, William Bryan Smith was drafted and served with the U.S. Army. He was stationed overseas, and was honorably discharged in 1919.

After the war he began to work as a staff artist at The American Legion Magazine, located at 1 Park Avenue in New York City.

In 1925 William Bryan Smith married his wife, Dorothea A. Smith. She was born in 1903 in NYC of German ancestry. She worked as a stenographer. The married couple lived at 16 West Church Street in Bergenfield, NJ. They had no children.

In 1929 he painted covers for The Great American Novel Magazine, a large format magazine produced by Macfadden Publications. That same year he also painted covers for Loving Hearts Magazine, produced by Magazine Publishers, later known as Ace Publications.

The July 1931 issue of Westland Love Magazine from Crescent Publishing Company had a cover painted by William Bryan Smith. The Crescent Publishing Company, at 25 West 43rd Street, was founded in 1930 by Robert J. Boyle, who was the private lawyer of Warren Angel, the owner of Ace Publications.

In 1932 he painted a cover for Gay Parisienne Magazine. He later painted several covers for Breezy Stories. In 1934 the contents page of Breezy Stories included a printed credit, "Interior Illustrations by William Bryan Smith." At that time, each issue contained about ten stories, and each story had at least one illustration. W. B. Smith continued to draw interior illustrations for Breezy Stories over the next five years. He also drew pen-and-ink story illustrations for other pulps, such as Eagles Of The Air Magazine, Yellow Book, Young's Realistic Stories and Young's Snappy Stories.

In 1940 the artist and his wife still lived in Bergenfield, NJ, at 16 West Church Street.

In 1940 W. B. Smith drew pen-and-ink interior story illustrations for Thrilling Ranch Stories.

As comic books became more popular, W. B. Smith began to draw for Real Life Comics, Outlaws, Border Patrol, Round-Up, Startling Comics and Thrilling Comics. There is no family connection between William Bryan Smith and a different artist, who also worked in golden age comics, William Arthur Smith (1918-1989).

In 1948 Richard E. Hughes, the art editor at the American Comics Group, assembled an index of all the freelance artists he used, which included a listing for "W. B. Smith - 61 W. Church St., Bergenfield, NJ."

William Bryan Smith died at age ninety-seven in New Jersey on March 28, 1995.

                     © David Saunders 2017

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