Caniff’s many talents surfaced early. By his sophomore year, he was already drawing athletic and other caricatures for the yearbook. Not only was he an award winning artist, but he could also act, sing and dance. He wrote the lyrics to the Stivers fight song and had Fred Waring compose the music. Milton was the senior class president, was voted the most popular senior, and for two years was chosen as the most popular student in the school.
After receiving his degree in journalism form Ohio State University in 1930, his first job was with the Columbus Dispatchs.
Best known for comics “Dickie Dare”, “Terry and the Pirates” and especially, “Steve Canyon”, Milton was called the “Rembrandt of the comics”.
Milt was a founder of the National Cartoonist Society and served as its’ president in 1948 and 1949. he received this society’s first “Cartoonist-of-the-Year Award” in 1947, and again in ’71 and ’72. He received the “Elsie Segar Award in 1971; the “Gold Key Award” in 1981; and was named to the “Will Eisner Award” Hall of Fame.
In 1987, in the “Steve Canyon” strip he memorialized the Stivers vs. Steele sports rivalry (St. Ivers vs. Ironn).
Caniff worked until his death May 3, 1988. He and his wife Esther are buried in Haverstraw, New York.