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1917 Mirage
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WILLIAM H. KOFOED

(1894-1976)

William Hansen Kofoed, and his twin brother, John "Jack" Christian Kofoed, were both born on December 17, 1894. Their father, Hans Senius Kofoed, was born in 1857 in Denmark. Their mother, Anna M. Hansen, was born in 1855 in Pennsylvania of Danish ancestry. The parents married in 1889 in Philadelphia and had three children. The first child, Frank Kofoed, was born in 1890. The family lived at 2738 Germantown Avenue. The father was a shoemaker. The widowed grandmother, Fredricka Hansen, born in 1822 in Denmark, also lived with the family.

In June of 1910 the Kofoed twins attended Germantown High School, where they contributed to the school newsletter and became interested in careers as professional writers.

In June of 1913 they graduated from Germantown High School, after which both brothers began to work for The Philadelphia Daily Public Ledger.

By 1916 William H. Kofoed was listed in the Philadelphia Business Directory as an "Editor," while his brother Jack was listed as Sports Reporter.

In 1917 the first novel by William H. Kofoed, Mirage, was published in the New York City by the Robert J. Shores Publishing House.

In 1917 William H. Kofoed married Lillian Irene Scheuerle. She was born 1896 in Pennsylvania.

In 1918 during the Great War both brothers were drafted for military service. Jack Kofoed was stationed in France and became a war correspondent.

In 1919 William H. Kofoed and his wife published Brief Stories.

In 1928 William H. Kofoed became the founding Editor of the pulp magazine Fight Stories, which was published by Fiction House and featured stories by his brother Jack Kofoed.

In 1930 the mother, Anna M. Hansen Kofoed, died at the age of seventy-three in Philadelphia.

In 1930 Mr. & Mrs. William H. Kofoed lived at 1026 Wagner Avenue in Philadelphia.

By 1930 Jack Kofoed had become a celebrated newspaper columnist. He married his wife, Marie Kofoed (b.1905), and had two children, John C. Kofoed, Jr. (b.1926), and William C. Kofoed (b.1934).

In 1931 Jack Kofoed co-wrote "Night Clubs" with comedian Jimmy Durante.

In 1931 William H. Kofoed was the editor of The Thinker, which was published by at 45 West 45th Street. He was listed as "Dr. William H. Kofoed," although at that time his highest level of formal education was high school graduate.

In May of 1932 William H. Kofoed stopped editing Fight Stories when the pulp magazine ceased publication, while Fiction House underwent financial reorganization after the death of the company's co-founder, Jack Kelly.

In 1934 the father of William H. Kofoed, Hans Senius Kofoed, died at the age of seventy-eight in Philadelphia.

In May 1934 Champion Associates of Philadelphia began to publish the pulp Jack Dempsey's Fight Magazine, which was edited by William H. Kofoed and included stories by Jack Kofoed. According to William H. Kofoed, "There were only three issues of Jack Dempsey's Fight Magazine, May, June and August of 1934. The depression was still making itself felt, but it was the premature timidity of the people financing the magazine rather than the depression that cause the magazine to fold. They quit before all the numbers were in. Later it was determined that the magazine had moved out of the red and into the black by the third issue."

In Chicago on February 14, 1929, Al Capone's gunmen murdered the last surviving members of Dean O'Banion's notorious North Side Gang. Nationwide newspapers published shocking photographs of the gruesome "St. Valentine's Day Massacre." Two weeks later, Al Capone visited Philadelphia to settle a nationwide truce between all crime bosses. Capone was followed by G-Men, who arrested him in Philadelphia for carrying a concealed weapon. After a week in jail, he was released and traveled to his second home in Miami Beach, where the new truce was lavishly celebrated. Al Capone's party guests included mobsters like Myer Lansky and Moe L. Annenberg, as well as professionals of the sporting news, William and Jack Kofoed.

In 1939 William H. Kofoed became Editor and Publisher of Movie Diary which was produced by Bilbara Publications of 295 Madison Avenue in NYC. The owner of the magazine was William M. Cotton, who invented the word "Bilbara" by combining the names of his two young daughters, Billie and Barbara. Bilbara publications were distributed by PDS, which was owned by Irving S. Manheimer.

William Cotton had formerly been the Advertising Director at Fawcett Publications until 1937, when he joined forces with Irving S. Manheimer to form Ideal Publishing Company. They bought Movie Life and Modern Movies from Ultem Publications, which was owned by Isaac Wise Ullman and Frank Z. Temerson.

Bilbara Publications also produced Cyclone Comics, which featured Tornado Tom. The editor was Worth Carnahan. The cover of the second issue of Cyclone Comics was drawn by Worth Carnahan. It is signed in the lower-right corner with the artist's distinctive signature design composed of his interlocked initials "WC." The inside front covers of each issue of Cyclone Comics was the same full page advertisement for Movie Life Magazine from Ideal Publishing Co.

Prior to the first issue of Cyclone Comics, Worth Carnahan had been editing and publishing the first six issues of Champion Comics. Although the publisher was listed as Worth Publishing Company, the executive offices at 1 East 42nd Street were leased to Leo Greenwald, a PDC Circulation Manager employed by Irving S. Manheimer. The February 1941 issue of Champ Comics identified Leo Greenwald as the Publisher and Editor.

By 1941 the Ideal Publishing Company leased additional space for their Women's Group Division at 295 Madison Avenue on 41st Street.

On April 27, 1942 during WWII William H. Kofoed registered with the Selective Service and was recorded at the time to be five-foot-four, 165 pounds, with blue eyes and blond hair. He was age forty-eight, which was too old to be drafted for military service. However his twin brother Jack Kofoed volunteered and was stationed in England as a Major in the Public Information Office. Jack's eldest son, John C. Kofoed, Jr., had entered his Freshman year at Penn State College, but left school to enlist in the Marine Corps. He was stationed in the Pacific and was killed in action during the invasion of Okinawa, the bloodiest engagement in Marine Corps history.

In the post war years William H. Kofoed was the editor of Popular Biography, The American Short Story, Laughter, Cetified Detective cases, Homicide Squad, Everybody's Digest, International Digest, and The Woman.

In 1950 Jack Kofoed wrote "Front Page Deadline" for Merlin Press.

Jack Kofoed's younger son, William Christian Kofoed, graduated from Dartmouth College and became a newspaper reporter and publicist for a developer of casino hotels in Atlantic City, Florida, Mexico, and Cuba.

In 1961 Belmont Books published "Meet The Mob" by William H. Kofoed and Detective Frank Mullady.

In 1963 Jack Kofoed wrote "Fifty-Fifty (or You Can't Hide A Man Who Is Riding On A Camel" for Wake-Brook Publishing House.

In the 1960s William H. Kofoed was associated with the Anti-Vivisection Society, which . He wrote edited and published The A-V Magazine, as well as numerious booklets and pamphlets.

William H. Kofoed died at the age of eighty-one in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 15, 1976. His wife Lillian Kofoed died three years later.

His twin brother, Jack Kofoed, died at the age of eighty-five in the North Miami General Hospital, on December 27, 1979.

                      © David Saunders 2017

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