Credit: Shutterstock/Joseph Barbera

That's what keeps me going: dreaming, inventing, then hoping and dreaming some more in order to keep dreaming.

One of the preeminent figures in America’s ‘Golden Age of Animation’, Joseph Barbera and his partner William Hanna created some of the most iconic and popular cartoons of all time. From Tom and Jerry to The Flintstones and The Smurfs, television wouldn’t have been the same without them.

He grew up in an Italian community in Manhattan, and developed his talent for drawing early on in school, but also pondered becoming a professional boxer after winning several titles in high-school, and briefly being managed by a world-champion trainer. Thankfully, he soon lost interest in boxing and worked hard to develop his drawing skills, attending art classes whenever he found the time. This effort soon paid off, and he found a job as a cartoonist for a local paper.

Joseph’s animation career began after he watched The Skeleton Dance, an early Disney production. His first job as an animator was at Van Beuren studios, and one of the shorts he worked on was a surreal cartoon which featured a pair of oddball humans named Tom and Jerry. Joseph really found his feet after being assigned to work with William Hanna. The pair quickly formed a strong working partnership that would last for the rest of their lives forming their own studio and creating dozens of famous characters together over the next 50 years.

Joseph’s legacy is one of entertainment. Throughout his life his characters and shows entertained hundreds of millions around the world, and his work is still looked upon with a mixture of reverence and nostalgia.