Walter Berndt (November 22, 1899, Brooklyn, New York - August 15, 1979, Port Jefferson, New York) was a cartoonist known for his long-run comic strip, Smitty, which he drew for 50 years.
Bernt's job as an office boy at the New York Journal put him in contact with leading cartoonists, as he recalled, "When I was 16, I worked as office boy for Tad, Herriman, Hershfield, Tom McNamara, also Hoban, McCay, Gross, T. E. Powers, C. D. Batchelor, Sterrett and Segar. Not much money but a million dollars worth of experience! Stayed with the New York Journal for five years, sweeping floors, running errands, drawing strips, sport cartoons and what have you. Then one year with World Telegram. From there to the Daily News in 1922 where Smitty and Herby work for me! Golf used to be my love, but it is now taboo. So now it's a little swimmin' in my pool."
Ed Black wrote about the method E. C. Segar and Berndt used to generate cartoon ideas:
Then the Fun Began was appearing as early as March 3, 1919. When Berndt left that strip on October 13, 1921, it was taken over by Fred Faber, who continued it until 1928.
Berndt's first strip, That's Different, drawn for the Bell Syndicate, lasted less than a