John Arthur “Jack” Berrill was born in Brooklyn, New York on September 22, 1923, according to the Social Security Death Index. The 1925 New York State Census recorded him in Brooklyn at 116 East 28 Street. He was the youngest of three children born to Thomas and Lillian. His father was a salesman.
In the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, he was the third of five children. They lived in Brooklyn at 814 East 39 Street. His father was a real estate salesman.
A World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska) profile, “Coach Owes Job to Winnie Winkle”, on October 24, 1958, said:
As a result, Mr. Berrill went to work as a copyboy on the New York News. His salary: 18 dollars a week.
Mr. Branner asked Mr. Berrill to become his assistant and he has worked with him since….
His home was the same location in the 1940 census, and his father was an industrial arts teacher. During World War II, he enlisted in the Army on March 29, 1943, according to Ancestry.com. The Hartford Courant obituary, March 16, 1996, said, ”…he served in the Eighth Army Air Force, 34th Bomber Squadron, stationed in Mendelsham, England.” The World-Herald profile said:
…Mr. Berrill, 35, has been a comic-strip artist since his teens. He has placed Coach Thorp in Milford High, a school similar to the one in New Milford, Conn., where Mr. Berrill lives….
…In Gil Thorp, Mr. Berrill seeks to portray young people as they really are.
“For the most part,” he said, “kids are looking for advice and guidance and they’re not getting it. I try to reflect high school life as realistically as possible.”