Part of the Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society
Preserving the History & Heritage of Lake Winnipeasukee & Vicinity



Return to Meredith

Return to Main History

Classic Archie Comic

Bob Montana (October 23, 1920 - January 4, 1975) was an American cartoonist who fashioned the characters that launched Archie Comics. Born in Stockton, California, Montana was the son of ex-Ziegfeld girl Roberta Pandolfini Montana and Ray Montana, a top banjo player on the Keith vaudeville circuit. Traveling all 48 states before the age of nine, Montana received his childhood schooling backstage in theater dressing rooms. During his early teen years, he lived in Boston's theater district. With his father's death and his mother's remarriage, he moved to Haverhill, Massachusetts; his stepfather managed a theatrical costume shop in Bradford.

From 1936 to 1939, Montana attended Haverhill High School, where the students and faculty inspired the leading characters in the Archie cast. In his senior year, Montana moved to Manchester, New Hampshire, where he graduated from Central High in 1940. The following year he drew Archie for MLJ's Pep Comics (December, 1941), and the immediate success of the character led MLJ to assign Montana to do the first issue of Archie (November, 1942). During World War II, Montana spent four years in the Army Signal Corps, working on training films with William Saroyan and cartoonists Sam Cobean and Charles Addams. Returning in 1946, he drew the daily and Sunday Archie comic strips which ran in 700 newspapers.

Montana died of a heart attack in Meredith, New Hampshire in January 1975, while cross-country skiing. His daughter, Lynn Montana, of Meredith, along with her sister, Paige Kuether, once managed a web site, Archie Prints, to market their father's artwork. The site featured a diary-sketchbook kept by Montana about life in Haverhill High during the late 1930s.


Home | About Us | Museum | News | History | Bingo | Shop | Membership | Contact | You Can Help!

The Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society is a non-profit organization.