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Stan was not yet two years old when his father died in 1918 (TB). His mother remarried to Albert Kalinowski. His only sibling, Jerome was born in 1924 and Stan assumed Kalinowski as his surname. The Great Depression resulted in a scarcity of employment opportunities particularly when combined with the prejudices of family origins. All were contributing factors in Stan and his brother, Jerome, ultimately changing their surname from Kalinowski to Kaye.
Stan would spend hours drawing as a child, a passion he would continue to pursue. Eventually Stan attended a sign painting school (1934-35) before finding work assisting muralist, Billy Mackey, on a mural located at the Natural History Museum (ca1935-1936). Stan attended night school at the Art Students League of New York and was a student of the renown artist, Harvey Dunn. Prominent artist, Dean Cornwell, a previous student of Dunn’s, also taught at the school and hired Stan as an assistant for a number of years prior to his hire at DC.
Stan was exempt from the military draft when they found scar tissue on his lungs from TB. Stan was unaware of ever having had TB. The military's loss was DC’s gain in 1941. Stan began on gag strips such as Drafty, Hayfoot Henry, Penniless and Genius Jones. The character Genius Jones was created by Alfred Bester, co-creator credit is given to Stan who was the first to do the Genius Jones's series and designed Genius Jones's costume of purple gray tights, red cape and yellow helmet. After Alfred left to write science fiction novels Stan continued working on Genius Jones.
Writer Arthur Schwartz did a 40's teenage strip, Buzzy and credits Stan by saying " ...[Buzzy] would not have been possible without the amazing art work of Stan Kaye". Stan is more popularly credited with his inks on Superman after being paired up with fellow artist, Wayne Boring. They provided the Sunday strips' artwork, and throughout the 40s’ the Superman daily strips were dominated by their artwork.
Associate Ted Spence introduced Stan to Marion Jensen on a blind date before the New Year in 1944. Marion, was a student at New York's, Tobe Coburn school for fashion and merchandising. Stan and Marion were married on August 4, 1945 in Racine, Wisconsin and returned to New York to live.
Stan began inking some of the Batman interiors about 1946 and numerous Superboy stories from 1955-1960. Curt Swan’s pencils were inked by Stan for the 1953 3-D Superman book. Stan continued working on the Daily Strip when Curt Swan took over in 1956. Curt and Stan did the majority of Detective Comics and Batman covers between 1956-1960.
Reflecting on Kaye, artist George Roussos aka George Bell (a 'Leo' and astrology buff) noted that his life was full of Geminis: "The first artist who helped me out [Stan Kaye] was a Gemini" [sic; Stan was actually a Scorpio not a Gemini]. Stan became a friend and mentor of sorts to George. George stated "He [Stan Kaye] helped with illustrations. I would do an illustration every week with opaque colors and he would correct it for me… I was interested to learn because I had no schooling [in art] except the things I learned by myself." Roussos named Stan Kaye as one of the artists he was most influenced by. Stan retired from DC in 1962 and relocated to Racine, Wisconsin, where he worked in his father-in-law's manufacturing business until 1967 when he died of heart failure.