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William Hanna and Joseph Barbera

Academy of Achievement

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William Hanna and Joseph Barbera

William Hanna and Joseph Barbera

Academy of Achievement

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William "Bill" Hanna (July 14,1910 – March 22, 2001) and Joseph "Joe" Barbera (March 11, 1911 – December 18, 2006) were two of the world's most influential animators, directors, producers and cartoon artists whose movie and television carton characters entertained millions of people for much of the 20th century. Hanna was a college dropout during the Great Depression, he worked at a series of odd jobs in the Los Angeles area, but discovered he had a talent for drawing. He joined an animation studio in 1930 and slowly gained skill and prominence, and, in 1937, met Barbera at MGM Studios. Barbera lived in New York City and displayed talent for drawing as early as the first grade. During his young adult years, he tried unsuccessfully to become a cartoonist but supported himself as a bank teller during the Great Depression. He continued to pursue publication of his drawings and his single cartoons began to be published in magazines. Barbera took art classes at the famed Art Students League and the Pratt Institute. In 1932, he joined Van Beuren Studios as an animator and storyboard artist. Lured by a salary increase, he moved to California in 1937 where he met Hanna who was working at the adjacent desk. The two men began collaborating, and were most known for producing "Tom and Jerry" live action films. In 1957, they founded Hanna-Barbera, which became the most successful TV animation studio in the entertainment industry for more than 50 years, producing programs such as "The Flintstones," "The Huckleberry Hound Show," "The Jetsons," "Scooby-Do," "The Smurfs," and "Yogi Bear." Hanna and Barbera won seven Academy Awards and eight Emmy Awards. Their cartoons have become cultural icons. Hanna-Barbera’s shows have a global audience of over 300 million people and have been translated into more than 20 languages. Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera spoke together to the Academy’s student delegates about their long and illustrious career during the 1989 Achievement Summit in San Francisco.

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