Born in Cashton, Wisconsin, Frank O. King began as a professional cartoonist at the Minneapolis Times in 1901. Moving to Chicago, he was first employed by the Chicago American, then by the Examiner, and eventually by the Chicago Tribune in 1910. Among his earliest comic strips were 'Tough Teddy', 'The Boy Animal Trainer', 'Here Comes Motorcycle Mike' and 'Hi Hopper'. In 1915, he made his first successful full-page comic: 'Bobby Make-Believe', followed by his famous 'Gasoline Alley' in 1918.
This comic was created to accompany King's cartoon series 'The Rectangle' on the Sunday pages, but it soon became the leading feature. 'Gasoline Alley' was devoted to the country's fascination with automobiles. The characters of the strip aged in "real time" - growing up, getting older and marrying as the years went by. For instance Baby Skeezix was found at Walt Wallet's doorstep in 1921, and throughout the strip's run, went to grade school, fought in World War II, got married, raised a family and is now a grandfather.
Before he was 40 years old, the strip had made Frank King a wealthy man. The owner of two estates, in Florida and Illinois, he spent his free time sculpting, collecting old maps and raising amaryllis bulbs. He retired from the Sunday strip in 1951, grooming his assistant Bill Perry to take over. King retired completely in 1959.