The Press: Why Bertie!

The Gump family have been galumphing along in their daily comic strip for over 30 years. They first appeared in the Chicago Tribune. Chinless, blowhard Andy Gump, his long-suffering, last-wording wife Min, and their billionaire Uncle Bim became as familiar to millions of newspaper readers as the neighbors, and Andy's anguished cry for help ("O, Mini") was a byword of the '30s. When a minor character called Mary Gold was heartlessly killed off (the first U.S. comic-strip figure to die), thousands of readers protested.

The Gumps were conceived, named (after a favorite family expression,...

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