Rick Random, Stainless Steel Rat
Born in Stamford, Connecticut, USA in 1925. In 1943 Harry was drafted into the Army Air Corps, where he worked on secret military computers, as an armourer and gunnery instructor, and finally - promoted to sergeant - a Military Policeman. During his time in the army, Harry proved himself an excellent shot, and was awarded the Sharpshooter medal.
A skilled artist, Harry began his career in the SF world by providing illustrations for books and magazines. He soon teamed up with comics legend Wally Wood and began drawing comics for Fox and EC. Around this time Harry soon found himself re-writing the often barely-literate scripts. Then he was writing original scripts, and soon moved on to editing comics. Around that time Harry was also writing for a number of men's magazines, "true-life" stories along the lines of "I Went Down With My Ship" and "I Was an Iron-Lung Baby."
In 1956 he became a freelance writer / editor / anthologist, concentrating mostly on short stories and novels, but he didn't abandon the comics industry: for ten years, Harry wrote the daily and weekly Flash Gordon newspaper strips, as well as a large number of other strips for American and British comics.
Harry's first work to appear in the pages of 2000 AD was "Rick Random and the S.O.S. from Space" in the 1978 Sci-Fi special, reprinted from Super Detective Library, November 1957.
The Stainless Steel Rat (adapted by Kelvin Gosnell and Carlos Ezquerra from the first novel to feature the character) made his first appearance in prog 140 (24 Nov 1979), and featured a half-page introduction by Harry. The story proved a big hit with fans who consistently rated it second only to Judge Dredd.
The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World (the third Rat novel) started in prog 166 (5 July 1980), and was followed in prog 393 (24 Nov 1984) by The Stainless Steel Rat for President (the fifth novel).