Born in 1873, Howard Chandler Christy was just 22 when the first "Christy Girl" was published in the November, 1895 issue of The Century magazine. Actually, he produced four images for the story, The Tragedy of the Comedy, by Chester Bailey Fernald (who?) and they depicted five women and little else. Like his contemporaries, W.T. Benda, Franklin Booth, Frank Craig, Harrison Fisher, and J.C. Leyendecker, he was a young artist in New York at a time when the magazines of the day were clamoring for images.
The patriotism he displayed in the Spanish-American war was rekindled during WWI. He drew upon that fervor and his tremendous talent to create posters for the war effort. Among the most popular were his Red Cross and Navy images, both featuring the famous Christy Girl. A lesser-known, similar image appeared in the 1921 Naval Academy yearbook. Mary Jones send me this card, with the picture that was so popular during WWII.