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George Moonie was born in Dundee in 1914 and joined DC Thomson as an office boy in 1930. He transferred to editorial, where he began his career on the story paper The Rover, later becoming chief sub-editor on The Wizard, and, in 1937, The Hotspur. The following year he was appointed the first editor of The Beano.

He joined the Royal Marines in 1941 as signals officer in the 5th Battalion, later promoted to captain. He was in command of 537 Landing Craft (Assault) Flotilla during the Normandy Landings of 1944, and was sent to the Pacific to train the Americans in landing techniques. At the end of the war he became training officer of HMS Woolverstone at Ipswich, and finished his military career as a major.

On demobilisation in 1946 he resumed editing The Beano, also writing scripts. He is said to have got the idea for "The Bash Street Kids" from the playground of the High School of Dundee, which he could see from The Beano offices, and Bash Street's Teacher is a caricature of him. He was succeeded as editor of The Beao by Harold Cramond in 1959, and went on to launch Judy in 1960 and Diana in 1963. In the late 1960s he moved into management, becoming managing editor of children's publications in 1974. He retired in October 1983, but would continue to submit story ideas, particularly for "The Bash Street Kids".

He died in March 2002, aged 87, after a long illness, survived by his wife Muriel, whom he had married in 1943. Their son Peter predeceased him in 1996.