Robert Thaves (October 5, 1924 – August 1, 2006) was the creator of the comic strip Frank and Ernest, which began in 1972. Thaves' desire to become a cartoonist began in his childhood. He had no formal training; instead, he practiced by studying and drawing the works of other cartoonists. He was so skilled he could identify the cartoonist of a comic strip without looking at the signature. Robert Lee Thaves was born on October 5, 1924, in Burt, Iowa, where his father, John, published local newspapers.