Charles Addams

Charles Samuel Addams (1912 - 1988)

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Charles Samuel Addams
Born in Westfield, Union, New Jersey, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married (to ) [location unknown]
Husband of — married in New York, USAmap
Died in New York City, New York, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 26 Oct 2014
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Categories: American Notables.

Charles Samuel Addams

Charles Addams is notable.
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Cartoonist, Charles Samuel Addams was born an only child on January 7, 1912 in Westfield, New Jersey, Grace M. (Spears) Grace Spear and Charles Huy Addams Charles Addams, a piano-company executive who had studied to be an architect. He was known as “something of a rascal around the neighborhood” as childhood friends recalled. Addams was distantly related to U.S. presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, despite the different spellings of their last names, and was a first cousin twice removed to noted social reformer Jane Addams.

He attended Westfield High School, where he was the art editor for the ‘Weather Vane'. He attended Colgate University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Grand Central School of Art in New York City briefly, but refused to graduate from any of them.

Making his first appearance in ‘The New Yorker' magazine in February, 1932, by 1940 he was offered a full-time position at the magazine at an initial thirty-five dollars per cartoon.

In 1937 the first so-called Addams Family cartoon appeared. His recurring and as yet nameless characters were appreciated by television producer David Levy and Addams was approached about using his characters in a television show. Addams agreed and finally named the characters.

On September 18, 1964 the television show The Addams Family premiered, and he received $1000 a week for the use of his characters. The show would run for only two years but it spawned two cartoon series, and two successful motion pictures.

Best selling collections of Addams' drawings were published periodically and included ‘Drawn & Quartered' in 1942; ‘Afternoon in the Attic' in 1950; ‘Nightcrawler' in 1957; ‘Dear Dead Days' in 1959; ‘Black Maria' in 1960; ‘The Groaning Board' in 1964; ‘The Charles Addams Mother Goose' in 1967; ‘Favorite Haunts in' 1977; and ‘Creature Comforts' in 1981. He continued drawing cartoons, over 1300 in all, until his death in 1988.

Charles Addams died on September 28, 1988 outside his home. As a lover of cars, Charles went out and sat in his car. After a long cruise, Charles, put his head down on the steering wheel. As his heart gave in, Charles Addams, passed on to the other side. He is interred in Sagaponack, New York on Charles Addams Estate Grounds.

Charles Adams wanted to be remembered as a fun loving artist, and had requested a party instead of a wake. At the New York Public Library, a party was thrown, complete with a banquet and Jazz bands. In a Boston Newspaper, a cartoon was depicted in which the cartoon family looked sadly down at a grave, while Charles crawled out from the other side.

Charles Addams died the same way he came in...with a style all his own.

A cartoon ran after his death depicting his Addams Family standing vigil before his grave while Addams crawled out the other side. A Charles Addams Art Scholarship was founded in 1991. The main branch of the New York Public Library has a Charles Addams Gallery on the third floor. His thirteenth collection of cartoons 'The Addams Family Album' was published posthumously in 1991.


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No known carriers of Charles's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 3
Charles Samuel Addams
Charles Samuel Addams

Charles and his 2nd wife, Barbara
Charles and his 2nd wife, Barbara

Charles with characters from The Addams Family TV series
Charles with characters from The Addams Family TV series


On 18 Jun 2016 at 17:31 GMT Darlene Bissonnette wrote:

Charles is my 8 cousin 2x removed. His mother is related to the Wheeler family.

Charles is 24 degrees from Walter Morrison, 27 degrees from Alison Wilkins and 22 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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