Mort Weisinger

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Mortimer "Mort" Weisinger (born April 15, 1915 in New York City , † 1978 in Great Neck, New York) was an American comic author and editor and literary agent. Weisinger became known as the creator of comic characters and series such as Aquaman , Green Arrow and Johnny Quick, as well as the decades-long editor-in-chief of the comics about the forefather of all superhero characters, Superman .


Weisinger was born in Washington Heights, a suburb of New York City, in 1915, the son of a textile businessman. He spent his childhood in the Bronx in New York .

Together with his friends Julius Schwartz and Forrest J Ackerman , Weisinger founded The Time Traveler magazine in 1932 , a fan magazine that dealt with the science fiction genre and which had the confident subtitle Science Fiction's Only Fan Magazine . The Time Traveler contained, besides interviews with authors established do above all write attempts of the three makers.

After attending high school, Weisinger began studying at New York University, which he eventually left without a degree to work as a freelance writer. In 1934 he founded the “Solar Sales Service” together with Schwartz, the first American literature agency to specialize in science fiction and fantasy authors. The agency's clients included Edmond Hamilton , Stanley G. Weinbaum , HP Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury , whose work the agency brokered to publishers.

In 1940 Weisinger finished his work at "Solar Sales" and hired as editor at the publishing house "Standard Magazine", one of the so-called " Pulp Magazines " , which was extremely popular at the time . There he coordinated magazines such as the science fiction series Thrilling Wonder Stories - in which he also incorporated stories from his previous Solar Sales clients - and the magazines Startling Stories and Captain Future . As an author, Weisinger created lasting classics of the science fiction and superhero genre with the characters he had invented Aquaman , Johnny Quick and Green Arrow .

In 1941 Weisinger took over the job of editor-in-chief for the so-called "Superman" department of the DC publishing house, which was commissioned with the production of the various comic series that dealt with the adventures of Superman , the forefather of all superhero characters. In this role, Mayer - interrupted by his work as a sergeant in the "Specia Servies" department of the US Army during the Second World War - directed the fate of the Superman figure for almost twenty-nine years, until 1970. After Weisinger gave up this job in 1970, his old friend Julius Schwartz took over the post of editor-in-chief of the Superman comics.

Popular elements that were introduced into the series about the "Man of Steel" during Weisinger's time as editor-in-chief of the Superman comics included the character of Superman's young cousin Supergirl , the superhero club of the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Super -Hund Krypto , as well as the concept of the so-called "Imaginary Stories", which told in dream and fantasy sequences "What if ...?" - Stories that pursued such questions as "What if Superman and Lois Lane got married?" Or “What if Superman were President of the United States?” That couldn't be told in the regular Superman stories - which had a fixed status quo that the makers had to return to at the end of each story. The most common story element of the "Weisinger era", however, were the attempts of the researchy Lois Lane to prove the identity of the Superman she admires with her reporter colleague Clark Kent . This theme was varied countless times under Weisinger's direction and always ended in the same way: With a trick by Superman's that failed Lois' attempt to expose him as Clark and seemed to refute her thesis "Clark is Superman" , so that at the end of each story she was in doubt about whether her suspicion might not have been wrong after all - which, however, did not change her intention to want to prove again Superman's identity with Clark in one of the next stories. The ensemble of series that Weisinger monitored eventually also included Action Comics , Adventure Comics , Superman , Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane , Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, and World's Finest Comics .

In the 1950s, Weisinger was also involved as senior editor on the television series The Adventures of Superman with George Reeves.


Awards that Weisinger received for his work include the National Cartoonists Society Award in the Comic Book Division (1956), the Newspaper Panel Cartoon (1963), the Special Features Award (1965) and the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award (2000).


  • Sam Moskowitz : Seekers of Tomorrow. Masters of Modern Science Fiction. World Publishing , Cleveland 1996, pp. 107-122.

marriage and family

Weisinger's marriage to Thelma Rudnick (closed on September 27, 1943) resulted in a daughter and a son.