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The Debut of G.I. Joe

Published on 2 January 2022 at 23:44

David Breger with his alter-ego, G.I. Joe.

Prints and Photographs Division.

This is a guest post by Meg McAleer, a historian in the Manuscript Division. It ran in the Nov.-Dec. issue of the Library of Congress Magazine.

The “Private Breger” cartoon was born under mosquito netting in densely humid Louisiana. David Breger, a successful freelance cartoonist, drafted into the Army in 1941, created the cartoon during his off-duty hours at Camp Livingston. It quickly caught on, and  “Private Breger” became a popular feature in the Saturday Evening Post, one of the most popular magazines of the day. That’s where the Army discovered it and wanted it for its own — just under a different name.

G. I. Joe, as drawn by Breger. 

Prints and Photographs Division.

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5 months ago

heroes will never be forgotten.