1945 DC Party Photo UPDATE


From 1945 party photo

About a week ago I posted a long article about a recently surfaced photo from DC Comics’ 1945 holiday party. You can read that HERE. A few corrections and updates have been added since it was posted, which I’ll summarize.

I’ve been waiting to hear from Diane Ostrander-Kaye on this person, who I thought was Marion Kaye, the wife of artist Stan Kaye. Marion is still with us, and Diane had promised to show her the photo as soon as possible. Diane told me Marion’s short-term memory is not good, but her long-term memory is still really good. Yesterday she told me:

Had lunch with Marion today and showed her the pic. She says it is not her. She doesn’t remember even going but agrees that it is Stan (near this person in the picture). Marion said she would have been about four months pregnant with their first child, so maybe she remained home. She is sure she would remember if she was there.

So, that crosses off one person in my “Probably Identified” category, and her identity remains a mystery, like many others.


Here’s a photo of Marion, Stan and their children from a few years later, courtesy of Diane Ostrander-Kaye.


From 1945 party photo

Also in my “Probably Identified” category was this woman, who I think is Gussie Donenfeld, Harry’s wife. I have one photo of her from their wedding in 1918, from the book “Men of Tomorrow” by Gerard Jones, but it’s too small to reproduce here, and the faces are hard to make out. I had another photo I thought was of Harry and Gussie from the wedding of Bernard Kashdan in 1952:


But Bennett Kashdan, who gave me the photo, contacted me to tell me the woman behind Harry is actually Jack Liebowitz’s wife Rose, not Gussie. I still think the well-dressed woman in the party photo might be Gussie Donenfeld, but I’ve moved her entry to the “Possibly Identified” category.


From 1945 party photo

On the plus side, my former boss at DC, Bob Rozakis, told me he’d identified this person, writing: “I’m almost 100% certain that #39 is Dave Vern / David V Reed.” Bob knew Reed in the 1970s when he returned to scripting comics for DC, so I’m happy to accept this identification. Born David Levine in 1924, he wrote for all kinds of markets and genres. As far as I know he began writing comics for National/DC as David V. Reed around 1949, so I’m not sure why he would be at this party, unless he actually began years earlier, but he is on Milt Snapinn’s hand-written guest list.

All these changes have already been incorporated into the main article, thought I’d put them in a new post too, since many readers of the original article aren’t likely to reread it.

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