Student, Central High School, Kansas City, Missoury, 1906-1909; student, Art Students League, New York City, 1913.
He was familiarly known in the professional comics community as Ray Van Buren. At the Kansas City Star, he learned cartooning from comic strip artist Harry Wood. In 1913, Van Buren moved to New York, where he illustrated for Puck, Life and The Saturday Evening Post.\r\nVan Buren served in the old Seventh Regiment (107th Infantry) of the 27th New York Empire Division in World War I. He was art editor of the Division"s magazine, Gas Attack.
An artistry and illustrative flair were evident in his cartoons, and The New York Times compared his artwork in the magazine with that of the famous British illustrator, Bruce Bairnsfather. After military service, he drew cartoons for The Saturday Evening Post, The New Yorker and Esquire.\r\nAs a freelance illustrator, he contributed to numerous magazines, including Collier"s, Redbook and McCall"son He began drawing in 1937.
lieutenant was the idea of First Rate (at Lloyd's) Capp, who intended to start a second strip to build upon the success of his popular Li"l Abner.\r\nInstead of drawing it himself, Capp recruited Van Buren. The strip was carried in 400 newspapers but did not equal the popularity of Li"l Abner. Van Buren stayed on the strip, and it ended with his retirement in 1971.\r\nIn 1984, When Van Buren sent a gift to "Dear Abby" columnist Abigail Van Buren (Pauline Phillips), she wrote back on November 30, 1984, thanking him and commenting on the name similarity:\r\nYes, I remember our meeting very well.
I also recall that every once in a while we"d get our mail mixed up. I at one time (when I first began, I spelled my name "ABBIE" Then it became even more confusing because of the Van BUREN remember?) Abbie and Slats.. and the Van Buren.\r\nI selected my own name.. so perhaps it was an unconscious choice, with you in mind all the while. Be well, Darling One.. and stay well.
And I hope to heaven you"re dangerous!.
Served as volunteer 107th Regiment, 27th Division, New York National Guard, in World War I, 1917-1919. With Advertising Educational Foundation, 11 months. Member National Cartoonists Society, Society Illustrators, Artists and Writers.
Married Fern Rita Ringo, December 8, 1920. 1 son, Richard.