UK Comics Wiki

John Bonner "Jack" Le Grand was born in Mile End Old Town, London, on 28 November 1919, the son of Thomas Alfred Le Grand and his wife Esther M., née Bonner. His father was a journalist who worked for the Amalgamated Press' Woman's Journal, and his uncle was Lord Northcliffe's chauffeur. He joined the AP himself at the age of 16 in 1936, working as an office boy under editor Fred Cordwell.

He was a member of the Territorial Army, and in 1939 he was called up, serving with the London Irish in North Africa and Italy. In 1944 he was a glider pilot carrying troops to the Battle of Arnhem. After demobilisation in 1946, he returned to the AP, becoming a sub-editor on Film Fun, again under Cordwell, where he also wrote numerous scripts. Cordwell died in 1948, replaced by Phil Davis, and after Davis retired some years later Le Grand was promoted to editor.

Film Fun folded in 1962, but Le Grand kept rising, becoming managing editor of a group of comics including Buster, Valiant, The Big One, Hurricane, Giggle and Jet. He co-created "The Steel Claw", with Ken Mennell and Sid Bicknell, and "Adam Eterno", with Chris Lowder. When Action was withdrawn in 1976 after creating a storm of media controversy, Le Grand was tasked with rescuing it, but his sanitised version did not last and the comic was closed. He took an early retirement package, and in consequence was nicknamed "Jack Le Forty Grand".

He married Ruby Gould in 1950, and they had three daughters and a son. He died in Havering, Essex, on 7 February 1986.


  • Alan Clarke, Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors, The British Library, 1998, p. 93
  • David Bishop, Thrill-Power Overload, Rebellion, 2009, pp. 9-10, 19, 33
  • Dez Skinn, IPC/Fleetway

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