René Goscinny (b. August 14, 1926, Paris, France – d. November 5, 1977, Paris, France) French author, editor and humorist, who is best known for the comic strip "Astérix", which he created with illustrator Albert Uderzo and the comic strip "Lucky Luke".
René was born in 1926, to Stanislas "Simkha" Goscinny, a chemical engineer from Warsaw, Poland, and to Anna Beresniak Goscinny from Khodorkow, a small Ukrainian village. Claude, René's older brother was born 6 years earlier; on December 10, 1920. Stanislas and Anna had met in Paris and married in 1919. The Goscinnys' moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, two years after René's birth, because of a chemical engineer post Stanislas had obtained there. He spent a happy childhood in Buenos Aires, and studied in the French schools there. He had a habit of making every one laugh in class, probably to compensate for a natural shyness. He started drawing very early on, inspired by the illustrated stories which he enjoyed reading.
In the December of 1943 the year after he graduated from school, the 17 year old René lost his father to a cerebral hemorrhage forcing him to find a job. The next year, he got his first job, as an assistant-accountant in a tire recovery factory, and when he was laid off the following year, he became a junior illustrator in an advertising agency.
René, along with his mother, left Argentina and went to New York in 1945, to join their uncle, Boris, there. To avoid service in the US military, René travelled to France to join the French army in 1946. He served at Aubagne, in the 141 E battalion of alpine infantry. Promoted to senior corporal, René became the appointed illustrator of the regiment and drew illustrations and posters for the army.
The following year, he illustrated the book "The Girl with The Eyes of Gold" and returned to New York. On his arrival René went through the most difficult period of his life. For a while, he was jobless, alone and totally broke. By 1948, though, he recovered and started working in a small studio where he met and became friends with soon to become Mad alumni like Will Elder, Jack Davis and Harvey Kurtzman. René then became art director at Kunen Publishers where he wrote four books for children. He met Maurice de Bévère aka Morris, the cartoonist and first author of the comic book series "Lucky Luke" (René would write the Lucky Luke series from 1955 to his death in 1977), around this time, in 1949 and also Joseph Gillain, better known as Jijé.
Also, he met Georges Troisfontaines, chief of the World Press agency, who convinced René to return to Paris and work for his agency as the head of Paris office in 1951. Here, he met Albert Uderzo, with whom he started a longtime cooperation. They started out with some work for Bonnes Soirées, a female magazine for which Goscinny wrote "Sylvie". Goscinny and Uderzo also launched the series 'Jehan Pistolet' and 'Luc Junior' in La Libre Junior.
In 1955, Goscinny, accompanied by Jean-Michel Charlier, Albert Uderzo and Jean Hébrad, founded the syndicate Edipress/Edifrance. The syndicate launched publications like Clairon for the factory union and Pistolin for a chocolate company. Goscinny and Uderzo cooperated on the series 'Bill Blanchart' in Jeannot, 'Pistolet' in Pistolin and 'Benjamin et Benjamine' in the magazine of the same name. Under the pseudonym Agostini, Goscinny wrote Le Petit Nicolas for Jean-Jacques Sempé in Le Moustique and later Sud-Ouest and Pilote.
In 1956, Goscinny began a collaboration with the magazine Tintin. He wrote some short stories for Jo Angenot and Albert Weinberg, and worked on 'Signor Spaghetti' with Dino Attanasio, 'Monsieur Tric' with Bob De Moor, 'Prudence Petitpas' with Maurice Maréchal, 'Globul le Martien' and 'Alphonse' with Tibet (Gilbert Gascard), 'Modeste et Pompon' with André Franquin, 'Strapontin' with Berck (Arthur Berckmans) and 'Oumpah-pah' with Uderzo. In addition, Goscinny appeared in the magazines Paris-Flirt ('Lili Manequin' with Will) and Vaillant ('Boniface et Anatole' with Jordom, 'Pipsi' with Godard).
In 1959, the Édifrance/Édipresse syndicate started the magazine Pilote. Goscinny became one of the most productive writers for the magazine. In the magazine's first issue, he launched his most famous creation, 'Astérix', with Uderzo. This series was an instant hit and is now known worldwide. Goscinny also restarted the series 'Le Petit Nicolas' and 'Jehan Pistolet', now called 'Jehan Soupolet'. Goscinny also began 'Jacquot le Mousse' and 'Tromblon et Bottaclou' with Godard.
The magazine was bought by Georges Dargaud in 1960, and Goscinny became editor-in-chief. He also began new series like 'Les Divagations de Monsieur Sait-Tout' (with Martial), 'La Potachologie Illustrée' (with Cabu), 'Les Dingodossiers' (with Gotlib) and 'La Forêt de Chênebeau' (with Mic Delinx). With Tabary, he launched 'Calife Haroun El Poussah' in Record, a series that was later continued in Pilote as 'Iznogoud'.