Casper, The Friendly Ghost, a fascinating post-WWII cartoon creation, first appeared in a 1939 children’s book and several animated cartoons in 1945.
In 1950-59, he was serialized in theatrical shorts before Harvey Comics bought the rights to the character.
Since the original Casper was depicted as a ghostly, mildly obese, little boy “living” by a gravestone, whether or not he was a dead child remained controversial.
Later, he was presented as an innocently ambiguous creature, similar to a friendly ghoul or goblin. Thereafter he had feet, was slimmer and was simply the product of ghostly parents.
In a 1995 live-action movie, his name became Casper McFadden, the ghost of a 12-year old boy who died of pneumonia.