The idea for Don Winslow was conceived by Lieutenant Commander Frank V. Martinek USNR, himself a storied veteran of World War I Naval intelligence, after Admiral Wat T. Cluverius complained to him about the difficulties of recruiting in the Midwest. Ruminating on the challenge, Martinek decided that a comic strip that focused on Naval tradition and courage would educate and fascinate America's youth. He had previously used the character Don Winslow in some novels he wrote, so he had the main concept readymade. Colonel Frank Knox, later Secretary of the Navy helped sell the idea to the Bell Syndicate.
The strip debuted on March 5, 1934 and a Sunday page was added in 1935. It would run until 1955. The title character was a spychasing Lieutenant Commander in Naval intelligence. The comic strip led to a radio adventure serial that began in 1937, as well as a film serial that began in 1942. Original comics stories also appeared in Fawcett comic books starting in 1943.
Although created primarily as a Navy recruitment and propaganda tool, the strip received high marks from Coulton Waugh for "excellent suspense, and ingenious, spine-joggling situations." Ron Goulart credits Don Winslow with "intrigue, spychasing, beautiful women, and villains with names like Dr. Centaur, the Dwarf, and the Scorpion." Like all good propaganda, the strip first sought to grab the reader's attention. (Source: wikipedia.org)