August M. “Gus” Edelstein was born in Ohio on September 20, 1898, according to his World War I draft card; the 1900 U.S. Federal Census said he was born in September 1899. He was the only child of Max and Emma; they lived in Cincinnati, Ohio at 1027 Mound Street.
Edelstein has not been found in the 1910 census. The date of the family’s move to New York City is not known. He signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. He was a student at Pratt Institute, and lived with his parents at 1338 Bergen Street in Brooklyn, New York. His description was medium height, slender build with gray eyes and dark hair.
Edelstein has not been found in the 1920 census. According to the 1924 Editor & Publisher Syndicate Directory, Edelstein created the strip Lottie Pep for the New York Evening Graphic that year. No samples of this strip are available for display, though Jeffrey Lindeblatt has confirmed its existence in microfilm of that newspaper. Edelstein also did illustrations for newspapers for the Metropolitan Newspaper Service, such as this one found in the Portsmouth Daily Times (Ohio) November 11, 1924 issue (see below).
In the 1930 census Edelstein was married to Gladys and had two children. His occupation was newspaper cartoonist. He married Gladys when he was 23 years old. They lived in Brooklyn at 231 Ocean Avenue, about half-a-mile from his parents. Also in the same apartment building, apparently next door, was Charles R. Macauley. Maybe it was coincidence; both cartoonists were born in Ohio and that was about all they had in common.
Additional information about Edelstein has not been found.