Scrooge McDuck Wikia

Only a Poor Old Man is a comic story written and drawn by Carl Barks. It features Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck and the Beagle Boys.


While Scrooge McDuck is trying to get his nephew Donald to start trying to earn money like him, he is cut off in the middle of his "money brings safety" lecture by a new attempt of the Beagle Boys to rob him. In a hurry, the frantic Scrooge moves his money out of his bin and in various hiding places, the final one being in the bottom of a lake owned by Scrooge. But the Beagle Boys are not about to give up and Scrooge really has to live up to his old motto of "being smarter than the smarties and tougher than the toughies" if he doesn't want to end up as "only a poor old man". 


  • Most of the references Scrooge McDuck makes to his early life and the ways he earned his fortune were later expanded upon in other stories.
    • Most notably, this story contains the first reference to Scrooge's earning part of his fortune in the Klondike, an idea to which Barks himself would soon return in Back to the Klondike (1953).
    • Scrooge's story about having bought a "worthless" claim which actually contained large amounts of copper was the basis of The King of the Copper Hill (1993).

Behind the scenes

This story was first printed in 1952 in Uncle Scrooge #1.

Although Scrooge had appeared as a recurring secondary character since 1947's Christmas on Bear Mountain, the character's epic only really begins with this story, where, for the first time, he is the main character. Wide chunks of his backstory are first revealed here, and for the first time, much attention is paid to Scrooge's feelings and dilemmas.

List of episodes of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck
By Don Rosa
Side-Steps and Precursors
Of Ducks, Dimes and DestiniesLast Sled to DawsonThe Dream of a Lifetime
The Original Saga
I: The Last of the Clan McDuckII: The Master of the MississippiIII: The Buckaroo of the BadlandsIV: The King of the Copper Hill
V: The New Laird of Castle McDuckVI: The Terror of the TransvaalVII: Dreamtime Duck of the Never NeverVIII: King of the Klondike
IX: The Billionaire of Dismal DownsX: The Invader of Fort DuckburgXI: The Empire-Builder from CalisotaXII: The Richest Duck in the World
Bonus Chapters
III-B: The Cowboy Captain of the Cutty SarkVI-B: The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff
VIII-B: The Prisoner Of White Agony CreekVIII-C: Hearts of the Yukon
Deleted Scenes & Other Bonus Content
0: The History of the Clan McDuckIII: Cattle WarsVIII: The Phoenix of White Agony CreekX: Teddy's CampaignXI: The Girls Can't Help It
By Others
Bonus Chapters
I-XB: The Orphan's ChristmasVIII-XB: Dime NovelsVIII-XC: Clues of the KlondikeVIII-XD: Christmas on Wheels
Side-Steps & Homages
The Time VortexScrooge vs. Scrooge
Precursors & Inspirations
Christmas on Bear MountainThe Old Castle's SecretOnly a Poor Old ManBack to the KlondikeThe Fantastic River RaceMush!
Black WednesdayNorth of the YukonThe Invisible IntruderThe Secret of the GlacierChairman of the Bored
An Informal Biography of Scrooge McDuckMark Worden's Duck Family TreeOnce Upon a Dime
The Life ands Times of Scrooge McDuck: The Official Score
DuckTales 2017
The Golden Lagoon of White Agony PlainsThe Outlaw Scrooge McDuckThe Richest Duck in the World