Henry "Hank" Ketcham created Dennis the Menace in October 1950, and today the comic is distributed to more than 1,000 newspapers in 48 countries and is translated into 19 languages. He entered the University of Washington in 1937 as an art major, but after a year the cartooning urge lured him to Hollywood and the Walter Lantz animation (pre-Woody Woodpecker) studio. Moving to the Walt Disney studios, he worked on Pinocchio, Fantasia and other Disney productions for two and a half years — until Pearl Harbor Day. He enlisted in the Navy and, as chief photography specialist, spent the next four years in Washington, D.C., developing cartoons, magazines, posters and animated film spots to promote the sale of war bonds.
He became a freelance artist and later Ketcham received the Billy DeBeck Trophy (now called the "Reuben Award") from the National Cartoonists Society as the outstanding cartoonist of 1952. In 1956, he received the Boys Clubs of America certificate for Best Magazine Comic, and was presented with the Silver T-Square Award, in 1978, in recognition of his outstanding service to the society and the cartooning profession.
Ketcham expanded his lovable imp's popularity through a variety of other media. Dennis the Menace and his animated adventures are distributed worldwide and is very successful. One of Ketcham's favorite episodes being "Dennis and the Bible Kids," Bible Stories as told by Dennis. In 1993, the Warner Bros. released the Dennis the Menace movie.