Born: 1898 January 12 in Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
Died: 1981 December 29 in Succasunna, NJ, New Jersey, United States
Biography: Harry "A" Chesler was born on January 10, 1898 in Jersey City, New Jersey. In 1896, his parents emigrated to to the United States from Kaunas, Lithuania, which at that time was the occupied fortress city of Kowno, Russia. Harry and his older sister Lillie were born in Jersey City. His mother and two children returned to Russia, where Harry's younger sister Sadie was born. His mother and the three children then returned to the United States in 1903 and moved to Newark, New Jersey where his father was living. The family name was Czesler but by the time Harry was born the last name had been changed to Chesler. He was not given a middle name or initial at birth but later added the "A", which he stated stood for "Anything".
A successful magazine advertisement salesman, he married Hannah "Betty" Northay on January 4, 1921 and had two children, Harry A. Chesler, Jr. (December 9, 1921) and Arthur Bernard Chesler (January 26, 1923). Confusingly, Chesler began using Harry A. Chesler, Jr.'s name rather than his own on his publications from around 1944 onwards, leading some sources (including the Who's Who) to erroneously state that Harry and Harry Jr. were the same person. While Chesler's wife and two sons were sometimes listed as owners or publishers of his later books, there is no evidence of their actual involvement in the publishing business.
Chesler entered the comics business in 1935, generally running a shop of creators and variously selling stories, packaging entire comics, and/or publishing his own comics directly through at least the mid-to-late 1940s.
Chesler's wife died at age 78, on October 16, 1977, followed by Chesler himself at age 84 on December 29, 1981.
Notes: To be confirmed against the Who's Who entry (although note that Who's Who incorrectly lists Chesler's son, Harry A. Chesler, Jr., as being the same person, which he is not).