McKimson was born in Denver, Colorado, but relocated to Los Angeles with his family in the 1920s. He began his career in animation in 1928, when he joined the Walt Disney Studio, becoming an assistant to animator Norm Ferguson. He left Disney in the early 1930s to work briefly for Romer Grey Studios, then joined Harman-Ising Studios around 1932. After Harman and Ising left Warner Bros. Animation for MGM, McKimson became a member of Bob Clampett's animation unit, where he is credited with the original design for Tweety Bird. McKimson also provided animation for Bob McKimson and Arthur Davis's units.
During his time at Warner Bros., McKimson also worked for Dell Comics, providing illustrations for the Bugs Bunny and Road Runner comic books. McKimson also illustrated the Roy Rogers daily comic strip from 1949 to 1953 in collaboration with his brother Charles and artist Pete Alvarado, using the collective pseudonym "Al McKimson." He left Warners in 1947 to become art director for Dell's parent company Western Publishing, where he remained until his retirement in 1972.
McKimson was active in the Masonic fraternity. He was the Master of Melrose Lodge No. 355 in Hollywood in 1954 and a founding member of Riviera Lodge No. 780 in Pacific Palisades, California in 1956, and later an Inspector and the Grand Tyler of the Grand Lodge of California. He was also a polo enthusiast, playing on the same team as Walter Lantz animator Ray Abrams.
McKimson died on Valentine's Day, 1998 in West Los Angeles at the age of 90.
- ↑ "Tom McKimson." Lambiek.net website. Last accessed 03/28/2007.
- ↑ "Pete Alvarado." Comic Book DB website. Last accessed 03/30/2007/
- ↑ http://www.hollywoodlodge.org/history/past-masters
- ↑ http://www.palisadespost.com/content/index.cfm?Story_ID=3201
- ↑ Los Angeles Times, Sept. 10, 1934