I came across an old promotional brochure for "The Professional School of Cartooning" (Lawrence Lariar, Executive Director), from 1947 or 1948. Four of the featured instructors were the Roth brothers, gag cartoonists who each achieved varied levels of success in the profession. Only one of them, Ben Roth, retained the family name in print. His brothers worked under the pen names of Irving Roir, Salo and Al Ross. You probably recognize the name of Al Ross as the famed "New Yorker" cartoonist. I believe he's still actively cartooning, even though I haven't seen his work in "The New Yorker" for a long time. Here are their photos and sample cartoons, from the brochure: Why my interest in the Roth brothers? I thought you'd never ask. My wife and I first traveled to Israel in 1983, and in our small mini-bus group were Ellen and Herb Deutsch of Buffalo Grove, Illinois. Our conversations eventually (and inevitably) got around to my gag cartooning, and Ellen reported excitedly that not only was her father a gag cartoonist, but so were her three uncles. I, of course, responded that they could only be the four Roth brothers. Ellen was amazed that I had heard of her father and uncles and I was amazed at what an incredibly small world we live in.
Which of the Roth brothers was her father? I'm sorry to say that I don't remember. But I'm sure that someone out there will supply that little bit of information . . . please!!
Oh, one more thing. My mother's maiden name was Roth, but I'm sure that's just another weird coincidence.