American cartoonist born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1897. F.O. Alexander was educated at Northwestern University and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts; night schools and correspondence courses completed his cartoon training. In World War I he served in Europe with the Camouflage Engineers. Alexander took over the Hairbreadth Harry comic strip upon the death of its creator, C.W. Kahles, in 1931; he continued writing and drawing the strip until its demise in 1939. He then tried two strips of his own—Finney of the Force and The Featherheads- and drew editorial cartoons for United Feature Syndicate before becoming staff political cartoonist of the Philadelphia Bulletin in 1941. He is now retired. Following Kahles was a tough act. Alexander added his own flavor to Hairbreadth Harry, modernizing the gags and artwork but losing the almost surreal wackiness that the great Kahles achieved in his last few years. As a political cartoonist Alexander was conservative and drew in a handsome, uncluttered brushstroke style shaded with careful, clean crayon additions on pebbleboard.
the World Encyclopedia of Cartoons 1981