Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Emily Manasch (Bill Finger's younger sister), 1918-2018

This week, I learned that Emily Manasch, Bill Finger’s younger sister, died on 9/27/18, a week shy of her 100th birthday. (Biologically, she was his half-sister.)

In 2006, while researching for Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, I was stunned to learn that Bill had a sibling (stunned because I’d misinterpreted a statement in a 1941 comic book article). 

Seven months later, I was stunned to learn that she was still alive. 

I was stunned yet again when I found her, then stunned for the fourth time when she explained she and Bill had been estranged since before Batman (so before 1939). 

She declined to answer even the most basic of questions, as did her daughter. (Her son had predeceased her.)

Over the years I tried to earn Emily’s trust in multiple ways, including by speaking pro bono at the schools her daughter-in-law and granddaughter taught at, but she never agreed to talk with me. It is frustrating to think of the knowledge she chose not to share. 

RIP Emily.

Stun #5: in 2012, upon the release of the 1940 census, I learned that Bill had a second younger sister, Gilda. 

I still have not found her…

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