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1930-01 Fight Stories
1936-09 Funny Pages
1930-11 Fight Stories
1936-11 Funny Picture
1934-05 Gang World
1937-02 Western Picture
1935-02 New Fun
1937-03 Detect. Picture
1935-08 New Fun
1936-11 Thrilling Adv.
1936-06 Comics Magazine
1940-Sum Jungle Stories


















William Henry Cook, Jr., was born on October 8, 1888 in Jersey City, New Jersey. His father, also named William H. Cook, was born in 1854 in New York of Scottish-English ancestry. His mother, Martha "Mattie" Seeley, was born in 1864 in Canada. His parents married 1886 and had five children, William (b.1888), Mattie (b.1891), Viola (b.1893), Malcolm (b.1894), and Iona (b.1895). The family lived at 690 Quincey Street in Brooklyn, The father was a photographer.

On March 8, 1905 the father, William Henry Cook, Sr., died at the age of fifty-one in NYC. After this tragic death the mother supported her five children by working as a dressmaker.

In June of 1905 William H. Cook graduated from a Brooklyn high school at the age of seventeen.

In September of 1905 he began to attend the Stevens Institute of Technology to study a two-year course in engineering. He worked on the editorial board of the student publication, The Link. He was scheduled to graduate in the Class of 1906, but he failed to complete the coursework and left the school in 1906.

By 1910 the Cook family had moved from Pacific Street to another apartment at 980 Jefferson Avenue in Brooklyn. At that time William H. Cook, Jr., worked as a office stenographer at a vaudeville theatrical company. He later became an office clerk at a publicity agency, where he met Frances Eggers, who worked as an stenographer at a vaudeville theater's office.

On December 7, 1911, William H. Cook married Frances Eggers. She was born on March 21, 1890 in Brooklyn. Her father, a teamster named Frank J. Eggers, was born in 1858 in NY. Her mother, Mary Ann Homes, was born in 1860 in NY. The newlyweds moved to 1526 Pacific Street in Brooklyn, where they had one child, Frances Hope Cook, born on May 21, 1913.

In 1916 the Cook family moved to Jersey City, NJ, where they lived at 40 Lembeck Avenue. He worked as a writer of sales catalogs for the American Can Company at 12O Broadway, in Lower Manhattan.

On June 5, 1917, during the Great War, William H. Cook reported for draft registration. He was recorded at the time to be medium built, medium height, with brown eyes and brown hair. He served in the Army infantry from March 14, 1918 until his honorable discharge on November 26, 1918.

After the War he resumed his career as a publicist in NYC. He and his wife and child left New Jersey and moved back to Brooklyn, where they lived at 842 Classon Avenue.

The December 1, 1923 issue of People's Magazine included "Cash On Delivery" by William H. Cook, which was his first published story. His work soon appeared on a regular basis in Street & Smith's Sport Story Magazine.

On March 25, 1929 The New York Times reported that Fiction House, at 271 Madison Avenue, had announced the purchase of Frontier Stories from Doubleday, Doran & Company, and had hired William Henry Cook as the new Managing Editor.

In 1929 the Cook family left Brooklyn and moved to 101 Pine Street in Ramsey, NJ, where he was listed in the local business directory as a writer for magazines.

During the 1930s his short stories appeared in Ace-High, All Western, Argosy, Blue Book, Complete Western Book, Doc Savage, Fight Stories, Frontier Stories, The Gang Magazine, Gang World, Nick Carter, North West Stories, The Shadow, Thrilling Adventures, and Wild West Weekly.

According to an introductory article by William H. Cook that appeared in Short Stories Magazine on July 25, 1932, "I have been a house manager and press agent for Keith and the old Liebler producing firm on Broadway, also three of the largest film magnates in the business. Never punched cows or policemen, hunted big game in Africa or tore a herring with an Eskimo, but I have trained fighters, covered some ground in this great taxed country of ours, bred some good Airedales, painted some in oil, fixed a few flats and eaten occasionally. Played semi-pro football many years ago - many. Was a shave-tail in a war some people may yet remember. Have served my time as cowboy and Indian before the fillum camera, and, for the benefit of the out-of-doors reader, will admit that I can handle a horse, a canoe, an ax, a gun, build a fire or a shack, and have always spent a lot of time in the open."

“About this particular story: ‘No Whistling Allowed,’ well, this is one of those yarns that just naturally comes out of years of association with the fight racket. I have managed a few fighters myself — nobody who amounted to much, but fighters nevertheless. Studying fighters, handlers, managers and promoters has shown me that there is no one pattern to fit all. The layman looks on the fight game as a sphere of life where the fighters themselves are all dumb animals, the handlers blood-sucking leeches, and the managers a group of slave-driving, money-grabbing fiends. Well, this is not so."

“A lot of them are just human beings like Chick Neville and his manager, Brad Warren. Warren is human in the story, but he didn’t pack the stamina that made Chick the hero. He didn’t have the courage or resources. Like many of us who go through life as ‘feeders’ (you hear it backstage) for some one else, Warren is a composite type whose only place in the story is ‘feeder’ for Chick. What originally gave me the urge to write ‘No Whistling Allowed’ was a long Sunday spent in a training camp where a bunch of us (fighters, managers, trainers, vaudeville comics, sparring mates) played pinochle and wagged the chin. Somebody mentioned superstition. Anyway, there is a pet hoodoo for every hour of the day. This one about whistling backstage is an ironclad rule. And as to the dressing room fight, I have seen more than one tangle in a fight club when the fans never knew what happened. And here’s a little slant that may explain my contention that all the world loves a puncher. Where does the razzing come from when two palookas have been missing for ten heats and at the end stand in their corners listening for the verdict? Answer: Win, lose or draw, the yell comes from those 50-cent seats, from the fans who are so far back that they think every jab, every hook or cross is landing. They score points for their favorites when the judges and those at the ringside can see the stabs are short. Some of them miss by a foot, but from the seats in the gallery they look good."

“The puncher — that’s the one they love. Tunney, Loughran — a dozen others, you ask? Well they dress the game up but they pack no wallop. We want the Dempseys to hit them on the whiskers and drop them in their tracks. It’s the drama of the ring, the thrill, the suspense. There’s mystery in that punch. It stands ’em on the seats yelling, tossing their hats away and watching with eagle eyes while the referee counts. Will he get up? Can he get up? They love the puncher. So do we all.”

In 1932 the daughter of William H. Cook, Frances Hope Cook, began to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC, so the family left NJ and moved to a NYC apartment at 215 West 14th Street, which is on the northern edge of Greenwich Village. He continued to edit Frontier Stories for Fiction House, while he also worked as an independent writer for pulp magazines, slick magazines and newspapers. The daughter became a professional actress and worked for the Lux Radio Theater.

On January 11, 1935 The Brooklyn Eagle announced the publication of New Fun by National Allied Publications at 49 West 45th Street. New Fun was an innovative juvenile magazine that featured original comics, rather than reprinted comic strips that had previously appeared in newspapers. The publisher was Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson (1890-1968). The editor was Lloyd Jacquet. Managing Editor was William H. Cook. Business Manager was John F. Mahon. Art Editor was Richard Loederer. The artists who drew these new comics included Adolphe Barreaux, Henry C. Kiefer, W. C. Brigham, Lyman Anderson, Ray Wardell, Jack Warren, Joe Archibald, V. E. Pyles, Rafael Astarita, and Clem Gretter. The Advertising was handled by H. D. Cushing. Distribution was handled by Science & McCalls.

On December 19, 1935 The New York Times reported that a Bankruptcy Court Judge had ruled against William H. Cook in a suit by Irving S. Manheimer for repayment of $3,613.67. Irving S. Manheimer was the owner of PDC, a distribution company, and was also the director of Macfadden Publications.

In 1936 William H. Cook joined a business partnership with John F. Mahon and left National Allied to form the Comics Magazine Company, located at 11 West 42nd Street. Cook and Mahon's new company produced The Comics Magazine (Funny Pages), Detective Picture Stories, Western Picture Stories and Funny Picture Stories. Their artists included Raymond A. Burley, William Merle Allison, J. M. Wilcox, Jim Chambers, Robert Robison, and Worth Carnahan. The indicia of their first comic, dated May 1936, listed William J. Delaney as the Advertising Manager.

William J. Delaney (1892-1986) was a powerful figure in the advertising industry. He operated the Newsstand Fiction Group with offices in the impressive Greybar Building at 420 Lexington Avenue. That same month Delaney was also listed in National Allied's More Fun #9 as Advertising Manager. He had also recently taken over Weird Tales and Short Stories Magazine, which had published fiction by William H. Cook, as well as by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson.

The earliest publications of the Comics Magazine Company included advertisements for Hugo Gernsback publications, Munsey Magazines, as well as advertisements for pulp magazines published by the Double Action Group. These advertisements indicate a business connection between this group of publishers at this time. All four companies, Comics Magazine, Hugo Gernsback, Munsey Magazines, and Double Action, had their advertising handled by William J. Delaney.

After one year, Comics Magazine Company ceased publishing.

On February 6, 1937 The New York Times reported in their Business Records section, "Bankruptcy - William H. Cook, editor, 70 W. 11th Street - owes $16,486 in liabilities, and has no assets."

On August 12, 1937 The New York Times reported in their Business Records section that NY County Court had judged Comics Magazine Company owed $5273.61 to Photochrome, a printing plate engraver.

The June 1937 issues of Funny Pages and Funny Picture Stories had the owners listed as Ultem Publishing Company and C & A Publishing Company. Ultem was owned by Isaac W. Ullman and Frank Z. Temerson. C & A was owned by Samuel J. Campbell and Warren A. Angel. Campbell & Angel also owned Kable News Distribution Company, the Kable Brothers Printing Company of Mt. Morris, Illinois, and Ace Magazines. Ultem and C & A was a consortium of publisher, printer, distributor, second-class postal agent, and advertising representative. After Ultem and C & A took over Comics Magazine Company, William H. Cook never worked again as a publisher or even an editor, but returned to his writing career. Thomas F. Mahon remained affiliated with Lloyd Jacquet's Funnies, Incorporated at 49 West 45th Street. At this same time Ultem and C & A also took over Star Comics and Star Ranger Comics, which had been produced by Harry A. Chesler. Ultem and C & A proceeded to publish all four of these comics for another seven months until February of 1938, when all four titles suddenly listed their publisher as Centaur Publications, which was owned by Joseph Hardie (1897-1967) and Raymond Kelly (1890-1964).

On January 29, 1939 the daughter of William H. Cook, Frances Hope Cook, married Charles E. Noyes in NYC.

After 1939 William H. Cook continued to write short stories for pulp magazines produced by Fiction House. His work appeared in Bull's Eye Sports, Fight Stories, Frontier Stories, and Jungle Stories.

In 1940 the U.S. Census recorded William and Frances Cook at 215 West 14th Street. His occupation was listed as "independent writer."

His daughter and husband moved to Dover, New Hampshire, to raise a family. Mrs. Frances Hope (Cook) Noyes eventually became Director of the Stratford Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission.

In 1941, in order to be closer to their daughter's family, William H. Cook and his wife left NYC and moved to Sheffield, Massachusetts, where they lived on Bow Wow Road.

On April 26, 1942 he again reported for draft registration during WWII as required by law. He was recorded at the time to be age fifty-three, five-seven, 170 pounds, with brown eyes, gray hair, a light complexion, and a "broken nose." He listed no job or employer.

William H. Cook had 125 short stories published in pulp magazines during his twenty-year literary career. His final story appeared in 1943 in Fight Stories.

William H. Cook died of heart disease at the age of seventy-five in a Vermont hospital on June 16, 1964.

Ten months later his wife Frances Eggers Cook also died of heart disease at the age of seventy-five in Vermont on April 26, 1965.

                                 © David Saunders 2017


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