Franklin Osborne Alexander original cartoon artwork
Born in St. Louis, Alexander studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, where he took several courses in cartooning and also attended the prestigious Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. During the First World War he served with the Camouflage Engineers and he saw action in Europe. After the war, he returned to the United States and began his cartoon career. During the mid-1920s, Alexander launched two comic strips, Finney of the Force (1925–31) and The Featherheads (1926–36), but he is best known for the comic strip Hairbreadth Harry, which he took over in 1931 after the death of its creator, C. W. Kahles. In 1941, he became the staff political cartoonist for the Philadelphia Bulletin. Alexander's career at the Bulletin spanned 26 years. He is most famous for designing the famous board game Monopoly for Parker Brothers in 1935, including creating the "Go to Jail" Officer Edgar Mallory, Jake the Jailbird, and mascot Milburn Pennybags characters.
In 1966, Alexander donated more than 1000 of his original cartoons to Syracuse University. The art is housed in the University's Special Collections Research Center. He retired from drawing cartoons for the Philadelphia Bulletin after 26 years in 1967.