Harry Tankoos Books

Harry Tankoos was born on Newton Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in 1915. His family operated a dry goods store on nearby Driggs Avenue; they later moved to Hollis, Queens. He attended NYU, graduating with a degree in Business English, which was something like journalism/advertising.  Harry Tankoos was drafted during WWII, and initially stationed on Fishers Island, NY. After a superior sent him to adjudant general’s school, he was deployed to the Philippines where he worked in a clerical supervisory capacity. He returned in 1946 and worked in advertising, settling in-house for many years at the Mirkin Paint Company.  Harry Tankoos then opened his own small ad agency, working out of his house in Great Neck. His major client was Gaines Dog Food, for whom he created a much-reprinted chart illustrating dog breeds by size and class.  (It was recently spotted in a vet’s office in Shillong, in the Indian state of Meghalaya.)  In the 1960s, Harry Tankoos owned an offset plant on Spring Street in Manhattan, and could often be seen at his desk, carefully going over mechanicals. He was greatly loved by his family, and his grandson, whose interest in printing was sparked by him, named Harry Tankoos Books in his honor.  He died in 1999.

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