In response to:
The Genius of George Herriman from the December 18, 1986 issue
To the Editors:
The authors of Krazy Kat: The Comic Art of George Herriman, reviewed in your issue of December 18, 1986, were not the first to discover Herriman’s racial background. That credit belongs to Supplement 3 of the Dictionary of American Biography, published in 1973 under my editorship. Seeking to resolve a conflict as to Herriman’s birth year, we sent to New Orleans for a copy of his birth certificate, and were surprised to find him identified on the photocopy as “colored” (not “Creole” as your review has it). This evidence, and the corroborating 1880 census listing of his parents as “mulatto,” are included in the DAB sketch by Marie Caskey.
Edward T. James
March 26, 1987