Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Rube Grossman

Reuben “Rube” Grossman was born in New York City on April 22, 1913. His birth date was recorded in the Social Security Death Index, and his birthplace was determined from census and marriage records found at Grossman’s parents were Benjamin and Ida Lindenburg who married in Manhattan, New York City on June 26, 1910.

According to the 1915 New York state census, Grossman, his parents and older sister, Jennie, resided in Manhattan at 209 East 99 Street. Grossman’s father was an operator in an unspecified trade.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the Grossman family of five remained in Manhattan at 200 East 97 Street. Grossman’s parents were Russian emigrants. His father was a tailor.

The 1925 New York state census said Grossman, his parents and three siblings lived at 65 East 98 Street in Manhattan.

The 1930 census recorded the Grossmans in the Bronx, New York, at 602 Prospect Avenue. Information regarding Grossman’s education and art training has not yet been found. Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Grossman was doing advertising work from 1930 to 1934.

From 1934 into the early 1940s, Grossman worked in animation. Grossman was on the staff of Fleischer Studios in New York. Grossman was in the 1937 photograph of a bachelor dinner for Nick Tafuri which was printed in Leslie Carbarga’s book, The Fleischer Story (1976). The caption misspelled Grossman’s first name as “Ruben”. Two Fleischer cartoons Grossman worked on were Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp and Gulliver’s Travels. The studio produced a newsletter, Fleischer’s Animated News. Issue number six has a cartoon by Grossman in row three, column four.

Grossman married Rita Davidson in Manhattan on November 25, 1937, according to the New York, New York, Marriage Index at

The 1940 census named the couple as residents of Miami, Florida, at N E 82nd Terrace. Grossman’s occupation was artist in the motion picture industry. Two Miami city directories from 1941 and 1942 listed Grossman as an artist at 1263 SW 21st Terrace.

Grossman was also producing funny animal material for comic books. Around 1942, Who’s Who said Grossman was worked in the Sangor Studio for about two years. The bulk of Grossman’s comic book work was for DC Comics from 1940 to 1962. Two complete stories by Grossman are here and here. Many of his comic book credits are here and here. Grossman attended the 1945 DC Comics Christmas party.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Grossman drew the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for King Features Syndicate which ran the holiday season strip from November 19, 1951 December 24, 1956. It was written by Robert L. May.

Grossman drew the Little Davey Jones coloring book, and collaborated with Larry Nadle on Little Chrissy Tree, and with Seymour Reit on Name-A-Grams.

Manhattan city directories for 1949 and 1953 listed Grossman at 20 Monroe Street, and the 1957 and 1959 listings had 475 Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive.

Who’s Who said Grossman returned to the animation field in the mid-1950s, first in commercials then in cartoon series such as Felix the Cat, and The Mighty Hercules.

Grossman passed away August 29, 1964, in Sherman Oaks, California, according to the California Death Index. The New York Times, August 31, 1964, published an obituary. 

—Alex Jay

One comment on “Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Rube Grossman

  1. A few additions based on only on my memory – I'm the source for most, but not all, of the Grossman credits in the Bails, etc. Who's Who. Grossman. Grossman went to Florida with Fleischer Studios, and returned to NYC, with the closure of the Florida studios. In Florida, Jay Morton had fellow Fleischer employees do comics, that he sent to Ben Sangor (and Richard Hughes) for publication in Ned Pines' comics and I believe Sangor's own ACG. Grossman nicely signed his work. When the studio return to NY in early 1943, Grossman went to work shortly for Dell (in Animal Comics), and then DC where he continued to work till the mid-late 50s or so *. I suspect Sy Reit wrote the Rudolph comic strip, as he was writing the DC Rudolph annuals at that time, and the strip (or at least the one year that I've read) featured characters created in the comic. Robert L. May created and owned the rights to Rudolph, but isnt known to have written more than two Rudolph stories (one published after his death).
    * New material continued at DC up to 1960 (Rudolph), but most of the late 50s material seems to be inventory work.

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