Open main menu

Robert William Montana (October 23, 1920 – January 4, 1975) was an American comic strip artist who created the original likenesses for characters published by Archie Comics and in the newspaper strip Archie.[4][5][6]

Bob Montana
BornRobert William Montana
(1920-10-23)October 23, 1920[1]
Stockton, California
DiedJanuary 4, 1975(1975-01-04) (aged 54)
Meredith, New Hampshire
Area(s)Cartoonist, Artist
Spouse(s)Peggy (née Bertholet)[2][3]

Early lifeEdit

He was born in Stockton, California, to Roberta Pandolfini Montana and Ray Montana.[7] Both were in show business: Roberta had been a Ziegfeld girl, and Ray performed banjo on the vaudeville circuit.[7] As a result, Bob Montana traveled extensively as a child.[7] He attended Haverhill High School in Haverhill, Massachusetts.[7]

According to Jane (Donahue) Murphy, a high school classmate of Montana's, Archie and his friends were based on people from their hometown and high school. She said Archie Andrews was based on Donahue's cousin, Richard Heffernan; Veronica Lodge on Agatha Popoff, the daughter of the local football team's doctor; Jughead Jones on a mischievous teen named "Skinny" Linnehan; while Miss Grundy may have been based on a high school typing and shorthand teacher named Lundstrom;[8] however, Haverhill's school librarian is also believed to be the model for Grundy.[7]


While freelancing at True Comics and Fox Comics, Montana created an adventure strip about four teenage boys and tried to sell it without success.

Archie ComicsEdit

Montana started working for MLJ Comics (which would later be known as Archie Comics). He was asked to work up a high school style comic strip story, featuring Archie Andrews.

The success of the Archie and friends story in MLJ Comics' Pep Comics (Dec. 1941) led MLJ to assign Montana to draw the first issue of Archie (Nov. 1942). Montana was soon drawing the Archie comic strip, doing both the daily and Sunday strip, which over the next 35 years ran in over 750 newspapers.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Montana married Peggy Bertholet.[2] They had two daughters, Lynn and Paige.[7]

He died at age 54 of an apparent heart attack while cross-country skiing near his New Hampshire home.[9]


  1. ^ "Robert Montana, January 1975". United States Social Security Death Index. FamilySearch. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Connors, Ann (8 May 1989). "A Funny Thing Happened to the Haverhill Class of '40". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  3. ^ Appelo, Tim (November 8, 1991). "Archie comics turn 50". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 24 August 2018 – via
  4. ^ Windolf, Jim (December 2006). "American Idol". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on July 13, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2017. Since the [court] settlement, every Archie product has listed John Goldwater as 'creator.' The name Bob Montana falls under a separate credit line that defines him as the 'creator' of 'the original characters’ likenesses.'
  5. ^ Offenberger, Rik (March 1, 2003). "Publisher Profile: Archie Comics". Borderline (19). Archived from the original on 2016-10-28. Retrieved January 9, 2017 – via
  6. ^ Harvey, R. C. (July 28, 2011). "John Goldwater, the Comics Code Authority, and Archie". The Comics Journal. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Sullivan, Mark (December 30, 2001). "Now 60 Years Old, Archie Has Roots Reaching To Haverhill Cartoonist Used High School Friends For His Inspiration". The Boston Globe. republished online June 9, 2002 – via
  8. ^ Tennant, Paul (December 28, 2010). "'Archie' comic changes with the times, examines real-life topics,". The Eagle-Tribune. North Andover, Massachusetts. Archived from the original on 2018-04-01. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "Bob Montana, Cartoonist, Dies; Creator of 'Archie' Strip, 54". The New York Times. New York, New York. 6 January 1975. Retrieved May 3, 2018.

External linksEdit