Comic Strip / Comics

What Popular Comic Strip Was Annie Based On?

If you are a fan of classic comic strips, you might have heard of the popular character Annie. But did you know that this beloved character was based on a real-life person? Let’s dive into the history of this iconic comic strip and learn about its origins.

The Creator of Annie

Annie was created by Harold Gray in 1924, who was an American cartoonist and Illustrator. Gray started his career as a cartoonist for newspapers and magazines, and he eventually created his own comic strip called Little Orphan Annie. The character Annie made her debut in the New York Daily News on August 5, 1924.

The Inspiration Behind Little Orphan Annie

Little Orphan Annie was inspired by a real-life girl named Mary Alice Gray. Mary Alice was the daughter of Gray’s brother, who passed away when she was only eight years old. After her father’s death, Mary Alice went to live with her grandparents in Iowa.

Gray was very close to his niece and he often visited her in Iowa. He would tell her stories about a little girl named Annie who had adventures all over the world. These stories eventually became the inspiration for Little Orphan Annie.

The Popularity of Little Orphan Annie

Little Orphan Annie became one of the most popular comic strips in America during the 1930s. The character of Annie became an icon for young girls everywhere, inspiring them to be strong, independent, and brave.

The popularity of Little Orphan Annie led to numerous adaptations including radio shows, movies, and even a Broadway musical. The musical adaptation premiered in 1977 and won several Tony Awards.


In conclusion, Little Orphan Annie was based on a real-life girl named Mary Alice Gray whose stories inspired Harold Gray to create one of the most iconic comic strips in American history. The character of Annie continues to inspire people of all ages with her courage and determination.