Kankakee, IL – Harold Gray’s 130th Birth Anniversary: A Tribute to the “Little Orphan Annie” Creator


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Kankakee, IL – Today marks the 130th birth anniversary of Harold Gray, the acclaimed cartoonist and creator of the iconic “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip. 

Born in 1894 on a farm in Kankakee, Gray’s journey to fame began with his passion for drawing and storytelling, leading to a legacy that continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.

According to historical insights, Gray’s early career was shaped by his Purdue University education, funded through his construction work and early cartoon sales. Post his service in the army, Gray’s freelance work culminated in the birth of “Little Orphan Annie” while he was living in Lombard, IL. 

The two homes associated with Gray in Lombard, including the Victorian house at 119 North Main Street and the birthplace of Annie at 215 South Stewart Street, stand as testaments to his enduring impact on the world of comics. On this anniversary, we remember Harold Gray for his 45-year dedication to the beloved character of Annie and his contribution to American culture.


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