Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks
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Basic Information

Oliver Warbucks, is a prominent industrialist and the very model of the Self-Made Man. Forbes Magazine, in 2006, listed him at the top of its annual "Fictional 15" listing of wealthiest characters from the world of fiction. A champion of hard work and rugged individualism , he is probably best known to the public in general as the loving adopted father of Little Orphan Annie.

He was born in 1894 in a small western town. His father, a railroad section boss, died while he was still an infant, leaving his widowed mother nothing but "gumption" and a house which she let out to boarders. Warbucks briefly attended college, juggling classes with a full time job at a steel mill. He eventually became foreman at the mill and married.

World War I provided opportunities for Warbucks, as industry expanded to meet wartime demand. He rose quickly through the ranks of management and soon owned several factories himself. Although it is unclear whether he was actually a war profiteer as his name suggests, he certainly benefited from the economic climate during and following the war. Prudent investment and sound business practices allowed him to weather the Stock Market Crash when other businesses failed.

Although extremely rich, Warbucks never lost the common touch and never forgot where he came from. His wife, however, proved a snob and a social climber and as Warbucks grew richer, the two of them drifted farther apart. The breaking point in their marriage came when she took on an orphan girl "on trial" as a status symbol among her charity-minded friends. Warbucks was outraged that his wife treated the little girl like a servant and insisted that Annie become a part of the family. Some time after that, Warbucks and his wife quietly divorced.

Warbucks and his adopted daughter Annie became very close and were devoted to each other; but business travels and abductions by sinister forces and other twists of fate forced them apart from time to time. Early in World War II, Warbucks became a general. At the time the United States was not at war with Germany and the uniform he wore was not an American one. His explanation of this to Annie was rather vague, leaving the impression that he had created his own brigade of mercenaries in order to fight Hitler. Possibly, like Chennault and other American adventurers, he had become involved in one of the many satellite conflicts that surrounded and lead up to the war…1

Warbucks was often accompanied in his travels by two bodyguards: Punjab, an eight-foot tall native of India who wielded a big honkin' scimitar, and the Asp, a small man of East Asian descent who was a deadly master of martial arts.

Having pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, Warbucks was a big believer in business and the gospel of hard work. He mistrusted unions and the New Deal and, contrary to the musical, he hated Franklin Delano Roosevelt. When Roosevelt won his fourth term as President, Warbucks vanished and was believed to be dead, and did not return until Roosevelt's death in 1945. But despite his Republican political views, Warbucks also felt strongly that business owners had a responsibility to treat their employees fairly and had an equally great hatred of corruption.

"Daddy" Warbucks is a tall, bald man; he usually dresses in a tuxedo with a diamond stick pin. Oh, and his eyes have no pupils. It's creepy. Try not to stare.


5. The Lethal Luthors: Part 2 The Secret Four: An essay postulating that Warbucks was Lex Luthor's brother and tying him into the Wold-Newton Universe

Game and Story Use

  • Oliver Warbucks and his famous auburn-haired ward could possibly show up in a Depression Era campaign.
    • Although if the campaign is a serious one, introducing him could just wreck the tone.
    • Especially if his ward encourages people to drink more Ovaltine.
    • In a slightly later era introducing Anne Warbucks as an NPC might be an interesting easter egg.
  • It might be better to use him as a type for a tough-minded, yet ultimately ethical plutocrat.
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