the height of the Great Depression, compounded by the fact that his parents, Jacob and Susana, mortgaged their house to pay for his tuition. Frank excelled in his classes and, at the end of his first year, he received a scholarship that paid for his second year.
While a student at AIP, he also took courses in oil painting from Sam Rosenberg, a well-known local artist. At this point in his life, Frank thought he wanted to pursue oil painting as an adjunct to his commercial career. This would soon change.
After finishing the two-year program at AIP, Frank began working full-time at the city’s primary newspaper, the Pittsburgh Press, as a staff artist in the rotogravure section of the advertising department. And after working there for two years (1935 to 1937), he got a job as an illustrator with the Rayart Studios, an advertising agency, where he worked for four years (1937 to 1941). Concurrently, while working at these two jobs, he took evening courses at the Carnegie Institute of Art.
As early as 1935, Frank was also soliciting free-lance jobs on the side. It was his wish to someday have his own business doing free-lance illustration full time.
While living in Pittsburgh, Frank met Loretta Sims, a Canadian girl whose father was a local cut-stone building contractor. When they first met, around 1935, Loretta was a teenager six years his junior and their friendship was casual, but by 1940 they were dating and getting serious. When in 1941 Frank had finished paying off his debt to his parents, he left Rayart Studios and took Loretta to New York City where they got married at The Little Church around the Corner.
The newlyweds then moved to Upper Montclair, New Jersey, where Frank had landed a job as the art director at the B.D. Adams advertising agency.
Throughout WWII, most of the artists at B.D. Adams had draft deferments as much of their work was related to the war effort. Frank, in particular, specialized in
aircraft illustration, and had been doing artwork for the Curtis Propeller Co., Wright Aeronautical Engines, Fairchild Aircraft, and the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation, all of which were building airplanes and parts for the military.
On May 11, 1943, Frank and Loretta had their first child, Laura Lynn.
Frank continued to do free-lance work on the side, but he still wanted to go solo. It would be a very risky move, as few artists were able to make a living free-lancing. But he took the first step in September of 1944 by hiring an art agent, the Kudner Agency in NYC.
In late summer of 1945, as the war was coming to an end, Frank and Loretta were vacationing in New Hampshire when Frank received a phone call from Jack Frye, then president of Trans World Airlines. Mr. Frye had admired Frank’s aircraft illustrations and wanted him to do TWA’s magazine ads. This was just the encouragement he needed. Frank quit B.D. Adams on October 27th and began free-lancing full time.
In May of 1946, Frank and Loretta bought their first house, a one-story bungalow on Indian
Field Rd. in Greenwich, Connecticut. At the rear of the backyard, there was an old chicken coop that, with a few alterations, became Frank’s new studio.
In this same year, Kudner introduced Frank to William Gale, the art director at Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn, Inc. (BBD&O), a big advertising agency on Madison Ave. This proved not only to be a very profitable business connection, but it was also the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Frank and Bill had a lot in common. They both enjoyed skiing, camping, and boating, and they were both (including their wives) students of Christian Science. “Uncle Bill”, as we all