Son of a painting contractor, Frank Foster II was born in Bar Harbor, Maine in 1909. The family moved to the Boston suburb of Arlington where he was raised. In 1932 he graduated from "Mass Art" where he was classmate and friend of AL Capp known for creating "Lil Abner". Capp interested Frank in cartooning to the extent of his creating and drawing a few characters one of them being the first "Batman" with an alternative name of "Nightwing".
There was also a character he named "The Raven" and his most beloved children's book character "King Aquazoo". A wise king who saved the people of his sinking Island Kingdom by teaching them a way to live underwater. A series of adventure episodes with various undersea creatures followed. A number "Aquazoo" stories and drawings survive.
Married to Ruth Hardy following graduation in 1932, he tried marketing his art fruitlessly and started a painting and decorating business. These were "The Great Depression" years. Frank Foster 3rd was born in December 1935 and in 1936 the business failed. The struggling family moved to East 53rd in New York City in search of work that Fall. During period from late 1936 to Spring of 1940 he found work painting wall murals and piecemeal work drawing for various publishers of comics. In particular, extensive murals were done for the 1939 World's Fair, and a restaurant on Lexington Avenue that Ruth Foster remembered very well. She stated that it was on the east side of Lexington Avenue just North of Grand Central Station. This is interesting because that puts it directly across the street from 480 Lexington Ave. The then home of DC Comics. During this period he continued to show his work around between jobs. Times were hard and as Ruth put it, "I never knew if there would be 'Shredded Wheat' to put on the table."
The promise of a regular paycheck led the Family to Washington, DC in 1940 where in amazement he first spotted the "Batman" at a news stand. Ruth remembers his distress saying "Will you look at that!? They took my idea .. They stole Batman!"
Frank D. Foster III, who has compiled most of the information for this website has this to say:
"My Father had a kind and gentle nature. Not one to speak badly about others. A trusting sort who couldn't get over that anyone would actually do this. I remember hearing about it over and over throughout my childhood and later. I always felt badly for him and sad that he lacked the aggressive motivation to stand up for his rights and somehow pursue the culprits. The injustice of it has been in my head since my earliest memory. Throughout his life many have benefited from his creative labors. It was typical that he was not one of them. Many took advantage of his gentle nature."
"In the course of building my own career, and the ups and downs of raising a family, I was never able to devote the time and resources to effectively find any justice for him during his lifetime. What joy it would have brought him. In the end, he felt like a failure. Perhaps we will at last be able to set the record straight."