Kanigher's career as a writer started early, with his short stories and poetry being published in magazines. He won The New York Times Collegiate Short Story Contest in 1932. Kanigher also wrote for radio and authored several plays.
Kanigher's earliest comics work was in such titles as Fox Feature Syndicate's Blue Beetle, MLJ/Archie Comics's Steel Sterling and The Web, and Fawcett Comics Captain Marvel Adventures.
In 1943 Kanigher wrote How to Make Money Writing for Comics, one of the earliest works on the subject. That same year he also wrote How to Make Money Writing for Radio.
Kanigher joined All-American Comics, a precursor of the future DC Comics, as a scripter in 1945, and was quickly promoted to editor. He wrote for The Justice Society of America, Hawkman, Green Lantern, and edited Wonder Woman in addition to scripting the title. He created a number of new characters at this time, including Black Canary, Rose and The Thorn and The Harlequin.
Starting in 1952, Kanigher began editing and writing the "big 5" DC Comics' war titles: G.I. Combat, Our Army at War, Our Fighting Forces, All-American Men of War, and Star-Spangled War Stories. His creation of Sgt. Rock with Joe Kubert is considered one of his most memorable contributions to the medium. Later in his career he also created other popular action series features, such as Enemy Ace, The Unknown Soldier, and, with Russ Heath, The Haunted Tank and Sea Devils.
In the late 1950s and 1960s, Kanigher had a hand
in creating many other characters, including Viking
Prince, Balloon Buster, the Metal Men and the
Batman villain Poison Ivy. Kanigher also
scripted the first appearance of the Barry Allen
Flash in Showcase #4, the comic generally
credited with reviving superheroes and launching the
Silver Age of Comics. In 1974, drawing on a classic
novel, he introduced Rima the Jungle Girl to
the DC Universe in her own title.
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