14 Facts About Allen Saunders


Allen Saunders was an American writer, journalist and cartoonist who wrote the comic strips Steve Roper and Mike Nomad, Mary Worth and Kerry Drake.

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Allen Saunders is credited with being the originator of the saying, "Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans" in 1957.

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Allen Saunders covered the gamut of comics genres: editorial, commercial, gag, adventure, and melodrama.

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Allen Saunders was especially fond of the "indigenous gimmick" technique, solving a problem by using something that is ordinarily ignored in the setting.

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Allen Saunders inspired later soap strip writers such as Nick Dallis, who started Rex Morgan, M D, Judge Parker, and Apartment 3-G.

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Chautauqua John Lennon

Allen Saunders was known for "sophisticated scripts with literate dialogue", with almost twice as much said per daily strip as in the post-1979 versions, and under him, even Nomad was a sharp, shrewd character who was articulate in three languages.

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Allen Saunders explored personality and motivation in the long series of people passing through his strips, and they got to be "awfully real" to him.

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Allen Saunders's scripts were interpreted and fleshed out by talented realist artists who made the characters and settings both attractive and believable.

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Allen Saunders drew editorial cartoons and the single-panel Miserable Moments, wrote detective fiction for magazines, worked in Chautauqua theater and wrote plays.

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The Depression-era apple vendor's full name was Mary Worth, and Allen Saunders explained his makeover of the character and how her deceased husband's stocks regained their value.

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When his artist Dale Conner quit to do a strip of her own, Allen Saunders persuaded Ken Ernst to take over the artwork in 1942, and the strip became simply Mary Worth.

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In 1957, Allen Saunders wrote the line, "Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans, " usually attributed to John Lennon.

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In 1979, Allen Saunders retired and turned over the writing of Steve Roper and Mary Worth to son John.

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Allen Saunders remained professionally active as "Dean of American Continuity Strips", received an Inkpot Award in 1981, and wrote his Nemo autobiography, a rich resource on the history of American comic strip writing.

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