John Liney was born in 1912 and grew up in Philidelphia, where he got his start as staff cartoonist for the Phildelphia Evening Ledger. In 1936, he started submitting gags to Carl Anderson, who hired him as a writer and art assistant. In 1942, with Anderson's arthritis making it difficult for him to continue drawing, Liney took over the art chores on the Henry dailies. He would continue drawing the Henry strip for the next forty years.
Liney was also a teacher. He taught a couse in cartooning at Temple University during the 1940s, and for years traveled the country, giving lectures and drawing sketches for his many fans. And around 1970, King Features finally allowed Liney to sign the Henry strip, some twenty years after Carl Anderson's death.