People: Oct. 12, 1981

He took 27 bullet wounds during the first 24 years of his life, battling such miserable miscreants as Flattop, the Mole, Pruneface, Mumbles, the Brow, B-B Eyes and 88 Keyes (the larcenous pianist). But the villains never got the best of Dick Tracy, the hatchet-jawed, hawk-nosed dean of comic-strip detectives. Last week, Tracy, his snap-brim hat and two-way radio intact, celebrated his 50th year as a cartoon hawkshaw. So did his creator, Chester Gould, 80. Gould, now in affluent retirement in Woodstock, Ill., first dubbed his hero "Plainclothes Tracy," The moniker soon changed and later, so did Tracy. After an...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!