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Robert Duncan Low was born in Dundee on 25 August 1895, the son of Alexander Brown Low, a jute mill mechanic, and his wife Margaret, née Duncan. He joined DC Thomson as a journalist and rose to become managing editor in charge of the children's publications department. Having launched the "big five" story papers, Adventure (1921), The Rover (1922), The Wizard (1923), The Skipper (1930) and The Hotspur (1933), he developed a comic supplement for the weekly newspaper The Sunday Post, the "Fun Section" (1936). It included two comic strips in Scots vernacular he had co-created with Dudley D. Watkins, a staff illustrator on the story papers: The Broons, about a working-class Scottish family, and Oor Wullie, about a mischievous young boy (based on Low's son Ron), alongside Auchentogle, drawn by Chic Gordon, and strips by Allan Morley including Nero and Zero and Nosey Parker.[1][2][3]

In 1937, as managing editor, he oversaw the launch of DC Thomson's first comic, The Dandy, edited by Albert Barnes, followed by The Beano, edited by George Moonie, in 1938. The Magic Comic, for slightly younger readers, followed in 1939 but folded in 1941 due to paper shortages. The next comic launched was The Topper in 1953.[1] Also in 1953, Low co-created "Roger the Dodger", with artist Ken Reid, for The Beano.[4]

He died on 13 December 1980.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Gavin Brightwell, "RD Low: the man who created The Broons and Oor Wullie", That's Braw (via Internet Archive]
  2. Gavin Brightwell, "Dudley Dexter Watkins", That's Braw (via Internet Archive
  3. Helensburgh Heroes: Ronald Waterson Low
  4. Peter Hansen, Ken Reid, the Comic Genius (1919-1987), 2004 (via Internet Archive)

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