Betty Boop

A controversial figure from the start, the coquettish Betty Boop was the creation of Max Fleischer (1883-1972), a member of the Cooper class of 1900. Betty Boop first came on the scene in 1930 as part of Fleischer’s Talkartoon cartoons. Improbably, she began her career as a talking dog, but eventually morphed into a flapper looking much like the film actresses Clara Bow and Helen Kane. In fact, Kane sued Fleischer and company for copying her image and sound, but the court ruled in Fleischer (and Boop’s) favor. Her curvy figure and coy tagline (“boop-oop-a-doo!”) brought Fleisher and his studio under fire under the new Hays Code, which was designed to police conduct portrayed on screen. Betty Boop became less flirtatious, lost her hoop earrings, and donned less-revealing dresses. But none of it diminished her popularity, or the popularity of her fellow Fleischer Studio character. Though not a Fleischer creation, the sailor got a critical upgrade from the Cooper alum - it was Fleischer who decided that copious amounts of spinach would fuel Popeye’s muscle-bound power. 

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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.