Facts about Dale Messick

Dale Messick died at 98 years old
Born: April 11, 1906
Died: April 5, 2005
Best known as: The creator of comic-strip heroine Brenda Starr


Dale Messick Biography

Name at birth: Dahlia Messick

Dale Messick created the long-running comic strip Brenda Starr. Dale Messick was already a successful commercial artist when she sent the Chicago Tribune her idea for a strip about a crusading newspaper reporter, changing her own name from Dahlia to Dale to avoid prejudice against female artists. The trick worked, and Brenda Starr debuted on 30 June 1940. Brenda Starr was a red-headed, aggressive, crusading reporter who always ended up in the middle of the story. Dale Messick worked on the strip for 43 years before retiring. Brenda Starr was then carried on by other writers and artists, including Tribune columnist Mary Schmich. After 70 years on the funny pages, the strip was retired for good by its syndicate, Tribune Media Services, in 2011.

Extra credit

According to Dale Messick, Starr was inspired by red-haired actress Rita Hayworth.


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