Michael Silberkleit, 1932 – 2008
Archie Comics chairman Michael Silberkleit, the last of the original breed of comic book company family-owners, died August 5th from cancer, Archie Comics announced last night.
Along with his life-long friend Archie publisher Richard Goldwater, who passed away last year, Michael spent virtually his entire life at the comic book company. MLJ, its original name, was started in 1939 as a pulp magazine publishing house when Michael was seven years old. It was founded by his father, Louis, along with Richard’s father John and accountant Morris Coyne. During World War II and after the massive success of their feature Archie, the name of the company was changed to Archie Comics.
Living in Westchester County New York, Silberkleit had also volunteered as an auxiliary policeman in Scarsdale, NY.
Speaking personally, I was always impressed with Michael’s adventurous spirit, always looking to new ways to further the Archie franchise and bring new energy to the company. Archie was one of the first comics companies to embrace the use of computers in their production, and one of the first to establish a fun, interactive website.
The funeral for the 76 year-old founding brother will be this Sunday.