Public Domain Super Heroes

Benjamin Button

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Benjamin Button

Real name

Benjamin Button

First appearance

Collier’s, vol. 69, no. 21 (27 May 1922)

Original publisher

P. F. Collier & Son Co.

Created by

F. Scott Fitzgerald


Benjamin Button is an unusual late–19th and early–20th Century character who inexplicably ages backwards, having been born looking like an old man and dying looking like an infant. He first appeared in the short story “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which was first published in Collier’s magazine in 1922 and then reprinted in the book Tales of the Jazz Age (1922), and so is now in the public domain. The original appearance includes two illustrations by James Montgomery Flagg.


“It was impossible for Mr. Button to ignore the fact that his son was a poor excuse for a first‐family baby.” Illustration by James Montgomery Flagg, 1922.

Public domain appearances

  • “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Collier’s, vol. 69, no. 21, 27 May 1922. (Google Books)
    • Reprinted in Tales of the Jazz Age, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1922. (Internet Archive)


The 2008 Paramount Pictures movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is not in the public domain, nor are any of the many plot or premise changes, or supporting characters, introduced therein. Only the elements from the original short story are in the public domain.

See also

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